Warriors Trade Up, Spend $3.5 Million to Pick Jordan Bell in 2017 NBA Draft

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2017

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 01: Jordan Bell #1 of the Oregon Ducks reacts in the second half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Jordan Bell was a handful for opponents throughout the Oregon Ducks' 2016-17 season, and the Golden State Warriors are hoping he maintains that status at the next level after his draft rights were acquired from the Chicago Bulls when he was selected 38th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft. 

The newly-crowned NBA champion Warriors made Bell their first pick of the draft, and social media was ready to make its thoughts known about the Oregon star staying out west:

Bell was a rotational contributor during his first two seasons in the Pacific Northwest, but he made a noticeable leap during his junior campaign. 

A year after he averaged 6.8 points, 43 rebounds and 1.7 blocks, the big man posted 10.9 points, 8.8 boards and 2.2 swats a night while shooting a career-high 63.6 percent from the field. In fact, Bell was one of just 22 players in the country to average at least 10 points and two blocks this past season. 

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Bell was particularly impressive during Oregon's run to the Final Four—especially in the Midwest Regional final. 

Matched up against a Kansas Jayhawks team that was humming entering the Elite Eight, Bell erupted for 11 points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks: 

As that performance—and a four-block showing in the Final Four against North Carolina demonstratedBell's rim-protecting capabilities are top-notch. 

However, questions continue to linger about Bell's future position in the pros because he's undersized for an NBA center at 6'9'' and 227 pounds. 

Those measurements would tend to make Bell more of a conventional 4. That said, he doesn't possess the skill set necessary to make defenses pay if he lines up as a power forward. 

To that point, Bell attempted 71.4 percent of his shots at the rim during his junior season, according to Hoop-Math.com. And while he did shoot a solid 49.2 percent on two-point jumpers, those shots only accounted for 23.4 percent of his total shots. 

Bell has also been a reluctant three-point shooter to this point in his career, evidenced by the fact that 5.2 percent of his shots last season came from beyond the arc. 

So while the 22-year-old has the tools necessary to be effective in spurts moving forward, he'll have to expand his offensive arsenal rather significantly if he wants to become a rotational regular down the line. 

Bell goes go to a great situation for winning right out of the gate. The Warriors don't figure to slow down anytime soon, though therein lies the problem for a rookie trying to get playing time. 

However, there could be a sliver of hope for Bell in the short-term since Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee are both impending unrestricted free agents who could look to capitalize on strong years when they hit the open market. 

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