Kerr, Warriors about to take the training wheels off Jordan Bell


Kerr, Warriors about to take the training wheels off Jordan Bell

OAKLAND -- The tactical benching of Jordan Bell is being flushed into history, as it should be, as it must be when at least one of his Warriors teammates is publicly hinting it is time.

The head coach is in full agreement.

“I think we need to find Jordan a few more minutes here and there, where we can,” Steve Kerr said late Monday night. “He obviously brings a lot to the table.

“He needs to learn more, but he’s doing some good things while he’s out there.”

Kerr doubled down on Tuesday after practice.

“He’s earning more time,” he said of Bell. “He’s going to play some more. He’s a rookie. So he’s got to learn the league. He’s got to learn concepts. I’m bringing him along slowly. I’m really pleased with his production. You’ll see more of him coming up.”

That could happen as soon as Wednesday night, when the Warriors meet the Lakers in Los Angeles, down the road from Long Beach, where Bell grew up.

One thing for certain is he will not be inactive.

That’s progress. On six occasions this season, Bell has been placed on the inactive list despite excellent health. The 6-foot-8 forward/center spent those games sitting behind the Warriors bench studying the action and often engaging in conversation with assistant coach Chris DeMarco.

Bell was being “rookied,” treated like the brash new kid who happened to be joining a roster than won a championship without him. These were unsubtle reminders that the University of Oregon product has a lot to learn about the NBA game.

He’s learning fast, though, and it’s evident each time he steps onto the court. There are mistakes, to be sure, but there is an undeniable current of electricity running through Bell’s game.

In six first-half minutes Monday night, Bell produced 4 points (2-of-2 shooting), five rebounds and the obligatory highlight-reel blocked shot.

He did not take the court at all in the second half.

“I thought about it,” Kerr said. “But Draymond was going well.”

Draymond Green is Bell’s Yoda. Bell shares the veteran’s alacrity for defense and has a court awareness that approaches that of Green, who seems to see everything a split-second before it happens.

He’s seeing Bell becoming an impact player six weeks after entering the league.

Asked if Bell deserves more playing time, Green paused before responding, at first delicately.

“It’s not really my job to say, ‘Yeah, it’s time for Jordan to get more minutes.’ That ain’t on me,” Green said.

Green paused once more, ever so briefly, before dropping his thinly veiled opinion.

“What I will say is when he’s out there, he makes things happen,” he said. “Shaun (Livingston) and I were talking in the bench . . . he just gets out there and he makes plays. It’s not necessarily that he’s making a great pass, or whatever it is . . . but he just makes things happen. And usually that gets rewarded with more playing time.

“We’ll see. I’m not sure where it goes. But I know he definitely does great things when he’s out there.”

Bell’s player-efficiency rating (21.8) is fourth among the Warriors, behind Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and David West.

In Bell’s first and only start, last Friday against the Bulls, he responded with seven points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals -- and an astonishing six blocks, the most in the first start by a Warriors rookie since Robert Parish, now in the Hall of Fame, in 1977.

Bell was plus-20 over 26 minutes against the team that drafted him for the Warriors and picked up $3.5 million in the deal.

All of which is to say he’s ready for a heavier load, meaning some of his teammates will see their own minutes drop. If there is more Bell, there will be little less JaVale McGee and Kevon Looney and maybe a fraction less Zaza Pachulia.

There may be another game or three, depending on matchups and the health of the roster, where Bell will play little or not at all. But his current healthy-inactive percentage of 28.6 is now plummeting in the direction of zero.

Bob Myers had a mandate for Steve Kerr's phone call with DeMarcus Cousins


Bob Myers had a mandate for Steve Kerr's phone call with DeMarcus Cousins

Over his first five NBA seasons combined, DeMarcus Cousins attempted 69 3-pointers.

He made 11 of them.

In 2015-16, Cousins went 70-for-210 from distance -- 33.3 percent.

In 2016-17, He made 131 of his 363 attempts -- 36.3 percent.

Last season, he shot over 35 percent from deep (104-for-294).

[RELATED: Did the Pelicans offer DeMarcus Cousins a contract? 'Only me and Dell Demps know what was said']

Cousins is a beast in the paint, but the 3-point shot has definitely become a part of his game.

At Cousins' introductory press conference on Thursday, Warriors GM Bob Myers discussed what the four-time All-Star brings to the Warriors.

He also shared a funny story from July 2 -- the day that Cousins to Golden State became a reality.

“It’s a different dimension. It’s not something we’ve ever had, as far as a low post threat, since I’ve been here ... prior to him talking to Steve (Kerr), we had been talking, and Steve said, ‘I want him on the block, we haven’t had that threat, we can give him the ball, we can play off of him.’

"And he said ‘not out on the perimeter.’ And so Steve was about to get on the phone with Demarcus and I said, ‘Don’t tell him that he can’t shoot any 3s. If you let Draymond shoot 3s, you gotta let Demarcus shoot 3s.’ So steve said ‘Maybe one or two.’"

As we all know, Kerr and Draymond have their history when it comes to the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year shooting 3-pointers.

You may remember Kerr's mother saying during the NBA Finals: “I’m no basketball aficionado, but Draymond shouldn’t be taking those three-pointers.

But back to Cousins.

Clearly, Kerr envisions the big man posting up and causing havoc on the block.

So naturally, it's likely that there will be a moment (or two) during the season when Cousins jacks up some triples and Kerr gets frustrated.

Get your popcorn ready!

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Bob Myers provides update on where things stand between Warriors, Pat McCaw


Bob Myers provides update on where things stand between Warriors, Pat McCaw

In late June, the Warriors extended Pat McCaw a qualifying offer (worth $1,744,951) to make him a restricted free agent.

He is yet to sign an offer sheet with another team.

If he does, the Warriors will have the ability to match.

So where do things stand between McCaw and Golden State?

Warriors GM Bob Myers provided an update when talking to Tim Kawakami on the TK Show podcast:

"We had some good talks in Las Vegas. We want Patrick back, but we understand that it's a process, just like they do. We hope it ends with him coming back as a Warrior.

"That's our focus, that's our goal. Can't say right now what will happen, but that's our hope."

After a promising rookie season, McCaw -- the 38th pick in the 2016 draft -- took a step back last year.

He averaged 4.0 points, 1.4 assists and 0.8 steals over 16.9 minutes per game last season.

The 22-year old shot below 41 percent from the field and below 24 percent from deep.

He missed 13 games in the middle of the season after suffering a wrist injury, and then had the scary fall in Sacramento on March 31.

"We love Pat and we really hope he's back," assistant GM Kirk Lacob said weeks ago. "We'll see how this process plays out."

Stay tuned...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller