Digging for Diamonds: Jordan Bell
Jordan Bell (Eraser, Swatterboy)
Drafted by Golden State Warriors in Round Two, 38th pick
23 years old
6-9, 224 pounds
Wingspan: Seven feet
WARP Projection: Marginal prospect
So who is Jordan Bell? A relative unknown drafted near the end of Round Two in the 2017 NBA draft, Bell has burst onto the dynasty scene with his athletic and hustle play. Jordan Bell’s nicknames are very fitting. He has flashed elite shot blocking ability in his 27 game NBA career. Not just shot blocking talent, but elite shot blocking talent. The kind of knock it into the stands shot blocks you see on highlight reels on ESPN. Bell also has pesky hands and long arms to get into passing lanes and knock balls away. His per 36 minute averages of 13.5 points, 9.4 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 3.0 blocks per game on 71.4% from the field and 75.0% from the line are eye popping. The NBA free throw rate is based on a small sample size, but Bell showed the ability to hit free throws at a 70.1% rate during his final year at Oregon. It is unlikely that Bell will get to the line often enough to hurt your free throw percentage.
Beyond the block and steal rates, I’ve noticed two other strengths to Bell’s game.
- Bell has a nice game around the basket. He has a soft touch and the ability to finish with his right or left hand. His athleticism allows him to hang in the air and adjust his shot to compensate for defender positioning. He is a good offensive rebounder finishing tip in and put back dunks with authority.
- Bell can take a defensive rebound the length of the court and find an open teammate. His assist rate is very strong and it is likely to continue on a team full of so many elite scorers. Take note of this strength because it seems to be overlooked with all of the flashy hype Bell has received.
Bell has yet to make a basket on any shot beyond twelve feet. He won’t be stepping out to the three point line anytime soon. This will limit his overall ability to score points. It is not clear whether he will ever develop that type of game in the NBA. Know what you are buying before you acquire him.
Bell is a buy. He fits well in the Golden State no center scheme and is great at protecting the rim. It is likely that his minutes per game will hover in the 20-25 range for the foreseeable future. He will put in the occasional dud as he develops, but he is a worthy stash for anyone employing a big man fantasy strategy. I liken him to a Nerlens Noel type with top 50 upside in 9-cat leagues. I would give up players like Marquese Chriss, Zach LaVine, or Brandon Ingram for Bell.