Warriors

NBA rumors: Jordan Bell doesn't want to leave Warriors in free agency

NBA rumors: Jordan Bell doesn't want to leave Warriors in free agency

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday afternoon at 4:30, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

It's been a frustrating second season in the NBA for Warriors forward Jordan Bell.

His numbers dipped across the board in almost every single statistical category and he was suspended one game (without pay) in late March for what Golden State considered "conduct detrimental to the team."

You might be thinking that the soon-to-be restricted free agent is going to look to bolt in July. But you would be mistaken.

Marcus Thompson of The Athletic has the details:

He wants to remain with the Warriors. He wants to re-sign this offseason and continue growing with this franchise, continue learning from these Hall of Famers. Bell said he doesn’t want to go to a lesser team so he can get more minutes. He knows what he has right here.

It sounds like Bell is taking the opposite approach of former Warriors guard Patrick McCaw, who was a restricted free agent and wanted to leave by any means necessary (and ultimately got his wish).

In the 2016 NBA Draft, Golden State paid Milwaukee $2.4 million for the rights to McCaw and ended up losing him after two seasons without receiving any asset in return.

In the 2017 NBA Draft, Golden State paid Chicago $3.5 million for the rights to Bell and the franchise definitely doesn't want a repeat of the McCaw situation.

The Warriors will have the ability to match any offer Bell might receive this summer. Considering the 24-year old took a step back in Year 2 in terms of production, it will be interesting to see his market value.

On Tuesday night, Bell took another step forward with his on-court production. In Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the Blazers, Bell registered three points, four rebounds and three assists in 11 minutes off the bench.

He also produced when his name was called during Game 6 against the Rockets last Friday night:

[REWINDKD, Iguodala have faith Bell will learn from latest mistake]

“He’s worked on his game every day, so he’s going to have confidence when he plays,” Warriors assistant coach Chris DeMarco told The Athletic. “I think he’s become a better decision-maker offensively. He is a good passer when posted and in the pick-and-roll.

"Defensively, he needs to stay disciplined on ball fakes but he’s very good with his verticality at the rim. He’s one of the fastest bigs in the league, so when he is sprinting both ways he’s at his best.

“We know he has the tools. But it’s also about preparation and focusing on the details.”

Bell certainly is moving in the right direction -- time will tell what his future holds in Golden State or elsewhere.

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Why Warriors should be happy Raptors beat Bucks in Game 3 of East finals

Why Warriors should be happy Raptors beat Bucks in Game 3 of East finals

Publicly, the Warriors have no rooting interest in the Eastern Conference. Why would they?

They're one win away from reaching their fifth straight NBA Finals and in the midst of one of the greatest sports dynasties of all time. 

What they should want, however, is a long series between the Bucks and the Raptors. That's exactly why Golden State should be happy Toronto beat Milwaukee 118-112 in double overtime in Game 3 of the best-of-seven series on Sunday. 

After the Bucks dominated the Raptors in the first two games of the series by a combined 30 points in Milwaukee, Toronto held them off north of the border. This series is guaranteed to go at least five games now. Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo played 45 minutes before fouling out and the Raptors were led by Kawhi Leonard's 36 points over 52 minutes. 

A longer series and more minutes played by the two superstars is a win-win for the Warriors. 

Despite winning five straight games and being ahead three-games-to-none over the Blazers in the Western Conference finals, the Warriors are without two of their top players. Forward Kevin Durant is rehabbing a strained right calf and center DeMarcus Cousins is on his way back from a torn left quad. 

Durant didn't travel with the team to Portland and will be out for Game 4 on Monday night. Cousins, however, is said to be closer than KD in making a return to the Dubs

[RELATED: Steph believes Warriors won't be slowed by Iggy's injury]

Even without the two stars, the Warriors have been on a roll. But players, and even one mother, know how important Durant and Cousins are in the team's attempt to three-peat.

The NBA Finals don't begin until May 30. The Warriors can have over a week to rest and get healthy if they sweep the Blazers. At the same time, their opponent could be significantly less rested, especially if the Raptors keep winning.

Draymond Green's mom agrees Warriors need Kevin Durant for NBA Finals

Draymond Green's mom agrees Warriors need Kevin Durant for NBA Finals

The Warriors are rolling right now. Whether it's the Splash Brothers heating up from deep, or Draymond Green doing it, the Blazers have had no answers for them in the Western Conference finals. 

And they're doing it all without Kevin Durant, the back-to-back NBA Finals MVP. 

Without Durant, the Warriors are looking like the squad that won a ring and set a NBA record with 73 regular-season wins without him. None of that matters, though. When you can have one of the greatest to ever play the game on your team, you welcome him with wide open arms. 

Draymond Green's mother, Mary Babers-Green, agrees. 

Like mother, like son. 

With Durant rehabbing a strained right calf in the Warriors' last four games, all wins, Draymond has averaged 14 points, 10.8 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game. Don't tell him the Warriors are better without KD, though. 

“That’s idiotic,” Green said to The Athletic's Tim Kawakami Thursday after the Warriors' 114-111 win in Game 2 over the Blazers. “It’s very idiotic. I don’t think there’s one person in this locker room, one person in this organization that thinks that. And I know for damn sure that any idiot that does possibly (say) it don’t believe it.”

[RELATED: How incident with KD helped Draymond change his demeanor]

Durant will miss Game 4 on Monday. A Warriors win would give them a sweep and well over a week of rest before the NBA Finals begin on May 30.