Golden State Warriors Strike Gold In Acquiring Jordan Bell

Apr 1, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks forward Jordan Bell (1) blocks the shot of North Carolina Tar Heels forward Kennedy Meeks (3) in the first half in the semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Oregon Ducks forward Jordan Bell (1) blocks the shot of North Carolina Tar Heels forward Kennedy Meeks (3) in the first half in the semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA Champion Golden State Warriors did not have any draft picks in the 2017 NBA Draft but found a way to make a splash. With an opportunity to strike, they grabbed the best second-round player in Jordan Bell.

Joe Lacob and the Golden State Warriors could have been quiet as the 2017 NBA Draft got underway in New York. It was almost a given, with no draft picks of their own. For the second time in three years, an  NBA Championship came to the Bay Area and things were coming up roses.

And with the core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, and Draymond Green, the Golden State Warriors have a dynasty in the making. Instead of standing pat though, Warriors’ management jumped on a young power forward who can certainly throw a block party.

Jordan Bell burst onto the scene after a stellar performance during the NCAA Tournament with the Oregon Ducks. Chris Boucher, who will also join Golden State, injured himself in the Pac-12 Tournament and would miss the rest of Oregon’s tournament run.

Golden State Warriors
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Golden State Warriors

His absence left a void defensively for Oregon — a void that threatened their hopes of a run in the NCAA Tournament. But with Bell leading the way, he and his teammates bonded together, using Boucher’s injury as a rallying point.

As a result, Bell played his best basketball of the season — which in turn, helped to elevate his draft stock.

In Kansas City, Bell had eight blocks and 11 points to help Oregon stun a pro-Jayhawks crowd to send Oregon into the Final Four. Bell knew he had to step up in Boucher’s absence and successfully delivered.

But a chance at destiny for Oregon came to a stunning end. Oregon struggled throughout the contest against North Carolina but still managed to stay within striking distance.

With an opportunity on two missed free-throws by North Carolina, Bell and Oregon somehow forgot to box-out. The Tar Heels got the offensive rebound and wound out the clock, preventing Oregon from getting a chance to win the game. After the contest, Bell apologized for his mistake where emotions took over.

Bell would have loved to have another opportunity at an NCAA title, but chose to enter the NBA Draft after a stellar run with Oregon instead. The goal of a title at Oregon did not happen, but Bell has been a proven winner with the rise of Oregon Basketball under head coach Dana Altman.

His commitment to Oregon contributed significantly to the Ducks becoming Pac-12 contenders and signs point for the trend to continue.

Despite a mental break, Bell has played with a chip on his shoulder throughout his career at Oregon. While his draft stock continued to surge after the tournament run, Bell further showed his skills at the NBA Combine. He was already widely considered a second-round talent but elevated his stock to a potential late first-round pick.

A native of Long Beach, California, a likely destination from early mock drafts had Bell going to the Los Angeles Lakers. A team with plenty of offensive talent but lacking on the defensive front. If drafted by Los Angeles, Bell could have been the Lakers’ defensive stalwart for years to come.

Instead, teams passed on Bell in the first round, though he would not have to wait long to hear his name called. Chicago selected the Oregon power forward with the thirty-eighth overall pick in the second round.

Golden State liked what they saw in him and made the decision to pull the trigger, acquiring his rights in exchange for cash. The Warriors had Bell as a first-round pick on their draft board and did not believe acquiring him would even be a possibility.

But with the forward now in the fold, the Warriors have another Green in the making.

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Named the 2016-17 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, the 6-foot-9 center brings athleticism to his toughness around the net and shot-blocking capabilities.

He is Oregon’s all-time leader in blocks while leading the Pac-12 in field-goal percentage last season. Bell may appear undersized, but coming to the Warriors is a perfect situation as he will learn under new teammate Green.

By coming to a team primed for more championships, Bell will have plenty of time to develop into a potential star in the NBA. He may not have the trash talking skills Green has yet, but he brings all the other traits to be a pain to opponents.

Not a bad move at all for the Warriors, who appear poised to stay on top of the NBA for years to come.

For Lacob, this was not the first time the Warriors paid a team for the rights of a player drafted. Patrick McCaw went thirty-eighth overall last season by Milwaukee, only to have Golden State purchase his rights.

Golden State did not stop with Bell and signed an undrafted free agent out of Oregon, agreeing to a deal with Boucher, the Ducks’ defensive leader before suffering an injury against Cal. A 6’10” forward, Boucher will face an uphill battle to crack the Warriors roster. With a two-way contract, he will likely start in the newly branded G-League.

If Boucher can find his form after coming off a torn ACL, he could be a threat on both ends after averaging 11 points and six rebounds in his final season at Oregon.

Next: Warriors Rivalry With LeBron and Cavs Is Very Real

Plenty of talented young prospects highlighted this year’s draft with the hope of challenging the Warriors. In the end, Golden State stole the draft in getting Bell. The Warriors can do no wrong at this point, as the franchise has sights set on dominating the league for years to come.