Warriors rookie and future NBA champion Jordan Bell played in just his third summer league game on Tuesday, but is already putting up Draymond Green numbers. (Disclaimer: Yes, it’s summer league, not the regular season — take your "well, actually" somewhere else.) Please turn your attention to his stat line against the Timberwolves, which is as follows: 5 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, 6 blocks in 32 minutes. Is there a banner for getting a summer league 5x5? There should be a banner for getting a summer league 5x5. Bell ended up with a plus-minus of plus-27 (!) in a game that the Warriors lost, by two, to the Timberwolves.
The Oregon forward — who could be an undersized center in the NBA, depending on the roster — is the perfect Draymond apprentice, though he wouldn’t be in Oakland this fall without a little help from Golden State’s Eastern Conference friends. The Bulls drafted Bell 38th overall, and of all of Chicago’s questionable offseason moves, dealing the 6-foot-9 prospect away on draft night to the Warriors for $3.5 million in cash may already be the most regrettable. (Not a slight, Tom Thibodeau and Jimmy Butler — I’m sure that will work out, too.)
Yes, $3.5 million was the maximum cash consideration the Bulls could receive for Bell. But the chance at developing the rookie is worth so much more. If you think that’s too early to call, he’ll block that thought out of your head, then block you on Twitter, then block your favorite rookie, as evidenced by his three blocks in the first quarter and by this monstrosity in the second:
There’s even a Twitter account dedicated to Bell titled "ThingsBellCouldBlock." The feed exposed another thing he has in common with Draymond: serving up controversial opinions.
I, along with the other pineapple-on-pizza-is-good truthers, will try to look past that.
The moment the Warriors traded for Bell, the fit was natural. Golden State’s shortage of glass pounders wasn’t as obvious last season, but will always be a weakness on a team that loves to run sets packed with outside shooters. Bell, with a near-7-foot wingspan, spends his time on defense patrolling the paint, but can stretch outside if need be. By playing style, he’s a small-ball dream; by default, Bell’s a Chicago Bulls regret.