2. Jordan Bell
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Warriors star leaves to join Brooklyn Nets.
So it’s not that long of a story, and not that funny as a joke. Jordan Bell could hardly be called a star on Golden State, but he still warrants a look on the Nets’ free agent watch.
The last time the Warriors won a playoff series, Jordan Bell started at center in the series-clincher against the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2019 Western Conference Finals. After the Finals loss against the Toronto Raptors, he made a series of moves to different teams including a brief G-League stint, and long story short, he’s back on the Warriors on a two-way contract.
All this to say, Bell has changed. Long gone are the flashes of immaturity and the heated spats with coaches. Bell even worked with a trainer for the better part of 2020 to redefine his game. Previously pigeonholed as just a rim-runner and interior defender, he’s gotten smarter in all areas of the court. He just needs the minutes to prove it.
In his rookie 2017-18 season, he averaged 4.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 blocks in just 14.2 minutes per game. He hasn’t seen serious court action since, but he’s now been given a second chance for the Warriors to provide front-court support and play the traditional big man role on a typically small-ball team. That’s exactly what the Nets are looking for.
Bell is still young, and as much as he wants to prove his worth to his former team, what’s past is past. He just hasn’t clicked with Warriors so far, and a fresh start in Brooklyn could be just what he needs to set his career on track.
Bell won’t touch his rookie numbers and may just be ridiculously average in his routine production off the bench for Brooklyn. It beats Jeff Green guarding centers behind Jordan, though. And with Bell’s history playing with Kevin Durant, he’s worth at least the phone call.