Golden State Warriors: Jordan Bell is a dark-horse for Rookie of the Year

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 8: Jordan Bell
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 8: Jordan Bell /

The Golden State Warriors’ Jordan Bell has been overlooked in favor of other rookies. This makes him the prime dark-horse for the Rookie of the Year award.

The Golden State Warriors’ newest rookie Jordan Bell has been largely overlooked in favor of other rookies, such as Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, and the returning Ben Simmons. With Bell being the 38th-overall pick, this makes sense.

However, he looks set to emerge as one of the breakout rookies in the 2017/18 NBA season. Jordan Bell looks poised to become the perfect dark-horse for the Rookie of the Year award.

Following the formula

The acquisition of Bell will prove to be a masterstroke by the savvy Warriors. Much to the delight of Warriors fans, and the chagrin of everyone else, the Warriors are not complacent with their recent successes. Per Marcus Thompson of the Mercury News, the Warriors traded the Chicago Bulls $3.5 million in cash considerations for Bell. Warriors fans will remember the team also traded cash considerations to the Milwaukee Bucks in 2016 for the 38th pick. They used the pick to acquire Patrick McCaw.

What makes Bell a promising contender for the Rookie of the Year award

Fultz, Ball and Simmons, among others, are widely viewed as the top candidates for the 2017/18 NBA Rookie of the Year award. While this is consistent with the hype surrounding top picks at the beginning of every season, there are certain aspects which bode well for Bell’s prospects.

Statistically, Bell has enormous potential, and this will be a nice complement to the Warriors’ fast-paced, high-scoring style of play. In his junior year at Oregon, Bell averaged 10.9 points per game, courtesy of Basketball Reference.

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Bell’s scoring contribution won’t be heavily relied upon by the Warriors, but his defensive prowess is where he will shine for this team. His junior year saw him contribute 8.8 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game, courtesy of Basketball Reference. This defensive ability will be well-needed by a team oft-criticized for it’s defense. Most significantly, his defense will bolster his chances at becoming Rookie of the Year.

What will separate him from the other candidates

What is perhaps most exciting about Bell is his tremendous upside. At 6’8″, 225 lbs, Bell has an NBA-ready body which will equip him to compete strongly. Furthermore, Bell’s defense, which has earned him the nicknames “Eraser” and “Swatterboy”, will allow him to slot-in nicely. Additionally, Bell has been referred to as “Draymond Green 2.0”. Green is revered for his incredibly quick development, and Warriors fans hope Bell can emulate Green’s progression.

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While it is easy to compare Bell to Green, it is imperative that Bell seizes the amazing opportunity he has to learn from the 2016/17 NBA season’s best defender. As Bell develops, we should see him eventually compete for the Defensive Player of the Year award. But, Bell should seek to replicate what Green has excelled at throughout his career.

Green’s game is multi-faceted, and if Bell can learn from Green quickly, he will skyrocket to the top of the Rookie of the Year standings. Bell has already shown flashes of a well-rounded game, with a 5×5 performance in the 2017 NBA Summer League proving his versatility.

Warriors fans can look forward to seeing Bell make huge strides in his rookie season. These strides should see him contend for the Rookie of the Year award. Coming out of the second round, the odds are stacked against him, but this makes him the perfect dark-horse.

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