Sitting next to Warriors General Manager Bob Myers, in the Golden State practice facility, freshly drafted rookie Jordan Bell wore a grey suit with multicolored stripes. It sparkles under the fluorescent lights of the stage.
Ironically enough, that same suit was purchased in Chicago, the same city that hosts the Bulls, who, in a fitting twist of fate, sold the rights to Bell for $3.5 million to the Warriors during Thursday night’s NBA draft.
“I actually got this (suit) in Chicago when I was at the meetings. I don’t wear suits all the time.”
For Bell, that suit not only encapsulates the first step of his NBA career, but also represents the fortuitous chain of events that landed him on a team that will be defending their second championship in three season.
Bell said he spoke to Draymond Green shortly after being drafted, via FaceTime, and was told to prepare for the work ahead:
“He was like, ‘Yo, enjoy this night. Celebrate it. It only happens once, but after this night, we have to get back to work. We trying to get rings over here, so be ready for it.”
While Bell has dreams of competing for championship in his first season as an NBA player, it’s only natural to wonder what might have been if, in fact, the Bulls did not give up the pick where Bell was selected.
Considering the fact that Chicago had just unloaded its franchise shooting guard, Jimmy Butler, to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the landscape of the Bull’s future was unclear. And for Bell, instability is the last thing a rookie needs.
But Bell said he’s not concerned with where he could have landed and in fact didn’t know who possessed the pick before the Warriors bought it:
“I honestly didn’t even know who had the pick. I just knew the Warriors had it when my name was called.”
He also mentioned that being picked by the Warriors was a dream come true and that he’s been a fan of Golden State for several years:
“I’ve been a Warriors fan since I started playing basketball. Like back with ‘We Believe.’”
Apart from dodging the new mess that has been created in Chicago, Bell now gets the chance to play for a team that has a good chance of making deep playoff runs for the foreseeable future. And after falling short in the Final Four stage of the NCAA Tournament last season with the University of Oregon, Bell says he looks forward to the chance of playing on the game’s highest stage again:
“I think the post-season is when I play my best basketball. I know it’s winning time. I know it’s ‘win or go home.’ I’m definitely think I’m going to play my best when that time comes.”
As a 6-foot-9 forward, Bell will look to shore up a Warriors frontcourt group that is looking at some change with offseason.
The potential departures of Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee and David West present the possibility for Bell to step in and contribute with meaningful minutes, similar to what Warriors guard, Patrick McCaw was able to do in 2016.
In three seasons as a Duck, Bell was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team three times and led the team in rebounds with 8.1 per game in the 2016-17 season. Bell also had a monstrous NCAA tournament that included an 11-point, 13-rebound performance against the No. 1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks.
Not to mention, Bell was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 which should put a smile on defensive assistant Ron Adam’s face.
So as the Warriors move into the offseason with yet another upgrade to their already stacked roster. Jordan Bell can put away his Chicago-made-suit as that will be the last memento of the team by whom he could have been drafted.