Golden State Warriors: The overlooked move that defined their offseason – and their future
The offseason saw the NBA champions re-sign all of their off-contract stars. Remarkably, none of them was the most important move.
The Warriors had arguably the most successful offseason campaign, re-signing Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala, among others. However, the Warriors’ most important offseason move was executed in textbook Golden State style. The Warriors traded up in the second round by purchasing the rights to the 38th-overall pick from the Chicago Bulls. This pick was used to select Oregon star Jordan Bell. So, why was this move the most important of the Warriors’ offseason?
The Warriors’ winning formula
The reason I say this move is vintage Warriors is simple – Golden State did the exact same thing last offseason. In 2016, the five-time NBA Champions traded cash considerations to the Milwaukee Bucks for Patrick McCaw, who was also selected 38th overall. McCaw, in his rookie season, developed into a valuable utility player during the team’s championship run.
Trading for Bell was incredibly smart and is arguably the most overlooked move in the 2017 NBA Draft. Bell is exactly the type of player the Warriors don’t really have – a strong, rim-attacking presence who could potentially slot in at the center position in the Warriors’ small-ball lineup, despite being a power forward. In his junior year of college, Bell led the Oregon Ducks to the Final Four, averaging 10.9 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game. Bell has been nicknamed by many as ‘Draymond Green 2.0’, and when considering his stats, he certainly appears to be a multi-talented on-court presence, like Green. If this comes to fruition, the Warriors may have pulled off the steal of the draft.
What the trade means for the Warriors
When evaluating what Bell could contribute to the Warriors in the future, it becomes quite clear to see how this move was mistakenly overlooked. Firstly, the comparisons to Green don’t seem far-fetched, and when you consider what the 27-year-old has meant to the Warriors, it’s an exciting prospect for the Californian franchise. Golden State will certainly be hoping Bell develops at the speed the 2016 Olympic Gold medalist has, and if he does, he could emerge as the defensive anchor of a team whose defense is often criticized.
Additionally, Bell is 22-years-old and might seamlessly take the reins of the team from the current core as they age down the track. The keyword here is “seamless”, and it can be immediately attributed to Kawhi Leonard’s emergence as the San Antonio Spurs’ new leader, taking over from the Spurs’ famed big three. San Antonio’s consistency has been key to their enduring success over the past two decades, and the Warriors could be the next team to follow this lead. If Bell ends up developing in this way, Golden State may be at the top for a very long time.
Ultimately, the above situations are purely hypothetical, and it may be years before any of it occurs – if it does at all. However, the 2017 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year skills and huge upside bode well for the Warriors franchise going forward.
How do you see Jordan Bell’s career panning out at Golden State? Comment below!