The NBA Champs Didn’t Have A Draft Pick & Still Ended Up With A Draft Steal, Thanks Chicago!
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I think Chicago native Oprah Winfrey was playing the role of Chicago Bulls GM on Thursday night because the Bulls were just giving away talent on Draft night. Of course, the big giveaway was handing the Wolves Jimmy Butler and the 16th pick (Justin Patton) for recovering Zach LaVine, 2nd year player Kris Dunn and the 7th pick (Lauri Markkanen). Then in the 2nd round of the draft, the Bulls selected potential draft steal Jordan Bell and what do they do with him? They give him to the NBA champions for $3.5 million.
“Our thought on that is whoever the best player available is.” Said Warriors GM Bob Myers before the draft. “When we drafted McCaw (also a 38th pick), we actually didn’t think he would be as ready as he was…it was more of who’s the best player, at this number, period. Whether they’re ready now or in a year. So that’s how we’ll approach this year.”
Despite only being 6’9. the 22-year old Pac-12 Defensive Player Of The Year from Oregon was considered by many to be the best shot blocker in college basketball. He averaged 3.1 blocks and had eight (most ever by a Pac-12 player in a NCAA tournament game) against Kansas in the NCAA tourney.
We had the pleasure of recording a lot of his high school games back in 2012 and it was a common sight to watch him rack up a triple-double with blocks. Standing between just 6’6 – 6’7 at the time, we witnessed him block 18 shots in one game and 23 in another!
I can hear a few doubters saying he’s too small, too old and he went in the second round for a reason. My response is Draymond Green is the best defender in the league and was also 22 when he was drafted with the 35th pick in 2012.
Bell’s weakness is his offense and I don’t think that will be a problem in Golden State. The fact that he can rebound and block shots and give the Warriors a reason to sit Zaza’s (dirty/clumsy) a$$ down more than makes up for his “weakness.”
Before we get into more highlights of the former Ballislife All-American Game MVP and hear more from Warriors GM Bob Myers, let’s check out an interview with Bell at the 2017 Ballislife All-American game and watch his family and friends reaction to him getting drafted at his NBA draft party.