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.
Watch how Jordan Bell signaled for Klay to come get the dribble hand-off. He then put a screen on Evan Turner and immediately cut towards the rim in case there was an offensive rebound opportunity pic.twitter.com/pfyeMJo4e1— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) May 15, 2019
Jordan Bell did a great job at making himself available to Jerebko. He then immediately attacked and found the open Quinn Cook for a corner 3 (this was early in the 4th when the game was still close and the Warriors needed the bench to produce) pic.twitter.com/dMw0YOBcZ0— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) May 15, 2019
Zach Collins sagged off Jordan Bell and tried to bait him into taking the open midrange shot. But Bell stayed patient as he knew Klay was coming off the staggered screens and delivered the pass perfectly = 3 points pic.twitter.com/hLTiymo4Hs— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) May 15, 2019
He also produced when his name was called during Game 6 against the Rockets last Friday night:
Jordan Bell with an awesome sequence pic.twitter.com/TeppwlcUUT— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) May 11, 2019
“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.