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NBA Daily: Jordan Bell’s New Opportunity in Minnesota

Jordan Bell spoke with Basketball Insiders about now being a member of the Timberwolves, why he decided to leave Golden State, his excitement for the upcoming season and more.

David Yapkowitz

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When the summer arrived and NBA free agency rolled around, Jordan Bell knew one thing — he wanted an opportunity to play.

Entering his third year in the NBA, Bell had spent the better part of the last two seasons as an occasional reserve for the Golden State Warriors. His minutes on the court fluctuated at times, but when he was called upon, he showed he was capable of being a valuable contributor.

Bell originally began the free agency period as a restricted free agent. The Warriors had tendered him a qualifying offer giving them the right to match any contract offer he should receive from another team.

But when the Warriors pulled off the sign and trade for D’Angelo Russell, they rescinded the offer and made him an unrestricted free agent. A few days after the NBA lifted the free-agent moratorium, Bell signed with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“It was opportunity. I told my agent from the jump, don’t bring me no numbers, I just want to play. I just want to have an opportunity, I just want to grow as a basketball player,” Bell told Basketball Insiders. “In the summers I work my ass off, in the season I work my ass off. The Warriors was a great opportunity, I loved it, it was great, but I just want to be a better basketball player and keep growing. I just wanted to go somewhere else so I can grow and expand my game.”

The Timberwolves traded Dario Saric to the Phoenix Suns on draft night, and Taj Gibson signed with the New York Knicks. With both players gone, there appears to be an opportunity for Bell in the rotation, perhaps even as a starter at times alongside Karl-Anthony Towns.

Bell is in the mold of a versatile big man that can thrive in today’s game. On the defensive end, he’s able to body up against bigs in the post while being able to switch out and cover wings on the perimeter.

Offensively, he’s got somewhat of a point forward feel to him. He can handle the ball in transition and make plays for his teammates. He started a total of 16 games over two years with the Warriors, and he often displayed that ability to be a playmaker. He learned a lot from the veterans in Golden State and he’s hoping he can bring what he learned to Minnesota.

“Just to make everybody else around me better. I know obviously Karl and [Andrew] Wiggins are the focal points as far as scoring and things like that. They let them control the offensive side, and then me try to control the defensive side,” Bell told Basketball Insiders. “And just bring out everything I learned from Draymond [Green], KD, Andre [Iguodala], everything I learned my two years from winning a championship. I’ll try to bring that over here. I think we have a special group, we can do something special this year.”

When he first came into the NBA, Bell was somewhat of an overlooked player. He was coming off a solid NCAA Tournament run with Oregon, but he fell to the second-round where he was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the 38th pick in the draft.

The Bulls famously traded him to the Warriors for β€˜cash considerations.’ His rookie year in Golden State, he was in the rotation right away and even played meaningful minutes in the playoffs as the Warriors won the 2018 NBA title.

Bell has used that as motivation ever since, and he has some strong advice for any other young player who is possibly worried about not getting enough exposure or is also being overlooked.

“At the end of the day, rankings and all of that, that don’t mean nothing. If you get the opportunity to play against somebody who’s ranked higher than you, bust their ass and go at their neck. Show everybody what you can do and who’s the better player,” Bell told Basketball Insiders. “At the end of the day, once the draft is over, all the numbers mean nothing, it just means you get paid more. People like Thomas Bryant, he’s making the most money out of everyone in our draft class right now. Just keep working, if you get the opportunity, take advantage of it.”

A year after making it back to the postseason after one of the league’s longest playoff droughts, the Timberwolves missed the playoffs once again this past season. It was a year of upheaval as Jimmy Butler was traded before the season opener and Tom Thibodeau was fired in January. Ryan Saunders will have a full training camp under his belt now and the team brought in Gersson Rosas as the President of Basketball Operations.

Bell is among several new players who were brought in, along with Jake Layman, Noah Vonleh, and rookies Jarrett Culver and Jaylen Nowell. Although the start of the season is still a few months away, Bell is already looking forward to this new chapter in his basketball journey.

β€œJust being able to freely play and just being around another young team,” Bell told Basketball Insiders. β€œJust expand my time and show all the work that I’ve put in over the summer, late nights, early mornings, all the running and conditioning. Just everything I’ve been doing, show that on the court.”

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Legacy

Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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Headlines

#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz

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With the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia. The Thunder completed a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the pick.

Pokusevski is a long term project, but one that has has an intriguing skillset. A 7-footer with good speed and quickness, Pokusevski plays like a wing and can pass like a guard. But, to truly thrive at the next level, Pokusevski will need to put on some serious weight.

Again, he’s a project. But Pokusevski’s ceiling is sky-high. And, with a rebuild ahead of them, the Thunder have more than enough time to work with him and ensure he reaches it.

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Mock Drafts

2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock

What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Steve Kyler

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What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:

 

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