Golden State Warriors: Jordan Bell’s Summer League is important

GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 01: Jordan Bell
GLENDALE, AZ - APRIL 01: Jordan Bell /

The Golden State Warriors went out and got Jordan Bell on Draft Night. He has a chance to make some noise for the team, but it starts in Summer League.

The Golden State Warriors still have one spot left on their roster. They’ve already spent a lot of money this offseason, re-signing stars like Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, retaining vets like Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, and bolstering the bench with Nick Young and Omri Casspi. There’s no guarantee that they will fill that last spot.

Both Anthony Slater and Tim Kawakami have suggested that the Warriors could leave that open for now. They moved quickly to fill up all of their other roster spots, but they don’t seem to be in a rush to do anything with that last one. That means that someone will need to step up.

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Second year player Damian Jones will get his chance. He played well last year for Santa Cruz, flashing his athleticism. Golden State likes him.

There’s another young player that could also get an opportunity. Jordan Bell, the former Oregon Duck, could really turn into something. The 6’8 shot blocker has a unique skill set that the Warriors can really enhance and develop.

His Summer League is really important though. He needs to do well and open some eyes to earn some minutes. Bell needs to prove that his abilities will translate to the professional game.

Bell needs to show Steve Kerr and the rest of the staff that he’s definitely above Kevon Looney. He also has the chance to make them think about where he stands next to Jones. With some center minutes open, Bell could seize that opportunity.

He doesn’t need to be spectacular. No one expects that from a first year player during Summer League. But he needs to display the tools that Golden State saw in him when they decided to pay the Chicago Bulls for him, namely his defensive versatility.

There isn’t a huge role that needs to be filled. But someone needs to eat up a few minutes when Zaza Pachulia and David West go to the bench either for rest or because the matchup isn’t good for them. Bell’s speed makes him a nice contrast to the other two.

The Warriors have shown that small ball works. It can only be successful when your undersized center can protect the rim at a high level. That’s what Draymond Green is. It’s also what Jordan Bell could be.

It starts with the Summer League. Bell has a really unique chance to make some noise that will carry over into the preseason and, possibly, the regular season.