Jordan Bell

Pacific Notes: Bell, Chase Center, Oubre, Kings

Following a one-game suspension for “conduct detrimental to the team,” Warriors big man Jordan Bell has apologized to the team and hopes to move on from the incident, ESPN’s Nick Friedell writes.

“I made an error of judgment,” Bell said to NBC Sports Bay Area. “And I thought I was doing something funny, and it wasn’t. But I apologized to the individuals involved, and I hope to continue to move forward from this mistake.”

The incident in question involved Bell making unauthorized charges to assistant coach Mike Brown’s hotel room, as Friedell confirms. While the nature of the incident reportedly stems from a rookie hazing Bell underwent himself, the Warriors are also concerned about Bell’s work ethic this season.

Check out more Pacific Division notes:

  • The Warriors are in the midst of building a new home arena, Chase Center, which is set to open later this season. However, the new venue has generated over $2 billion in revenue before it’s official opening, according to a Bloomberg report.
  • Suns wing Kelly Oubre has nothing but fond memories of his tenure with the Wizards in Washington, Josh Luckenbaugh of NBC Sports Washington writes. “It’s always love,” Oubre said. “D.C. fans have embraced me from day one, and I have nothing but love for them.” 
  • After Saturday’s loss to the Rockets, the Kings were officially eliminated from postseason contention. As Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee writes, the loss ended a promising season that generated plenty of optimism for the team’s future.
  • ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Subscription required) dives into the Kings‘ next moves, which includes key decisions on the long-term futures of Buddy Hield and Willie Cauley-Stein

Pacific Notes: Vucevic, Clippers, Bell, LeBron

The Kings will be among the teams chasing Magic center Nikola Vucevic in free agency this summer, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic. In a question-and-answer column, Amick states that Vucevic is a target for Sacramento, adding that it will likely take a maximum offer to land him. The Kings’ cap space will depend on what Harrison Barnes does with his $25.1MM player option, but they may be able to put together a max deal even if Barnes opts in.

At age 28, Vucevic doesn’t quite fit with the Kings’ collection of young players, but Sacramento’s interest could be an indication that the club is speeding up its timeline to become a contender. Signing Vucevic would probably mean the Kings would be done with Willie Cauley-Stein, who will be a restricted free agent this summer.

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler are the free agents most likely to want to join the Clippers if they can open two max salary slots, Amick adds in the same column. However, he adds that sources have told him L.A.’s interest in signing Butler is “slim to none.” Amick also expects the Clippers to be among the teams submitting a trade offer to the Pelicans for Anthony Davis.
  • Jordan Bell‘s one-game suspension was the result of charging a hotel purchase to assistant coach Mike Brown, report Amick and Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The amount that Bell charged at a Memphis hotel hasn’t been released and it’s not clear if the purchase was intended as a prank, but the team believed it warranted disciplinary action. “The (press) release was self-explanatory,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters Wednesday. “He’s suspended for tonight’s game for conduct detrimental to the team. Beyond that, it’s our business and nobody else’s. We’ll move on.” This may be Bell’s last season with Golden State, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports, who notes that Bell is headed toward restricted free agency and the Warriors have one of the league’s largest luxury tax bills.
  • With the Lakers out of playoff contention, they are no longer playing LeBron James in both ends of back-to-back games, relays Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register. James didn’t make the trip to Utah on Wednesday, with coach Luke Walton saying he remained behind for treatment. The long-term health of the 34-year-old star will be the organization’s top priority for the rest of the season.

Warriors Suspend Jordan Bell For One Game

The Warriors have suspended big man Jordan Bell one game for “conduct detrimental to the team,” the club announced today in a press release. Bell will serve the one-game ban on Wednesday night, with Golden State set to face Memphis.

Since no additional details were included in the Warriors’ announcement, it’s not clear what exactly Bell did to warrant the suspension. However, it’ll cost him a little money — he’ll forfeit 1/145th of his $1,378,242 salary for 2018/19, which works out to $9,505.

Bell, who will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, has been a regular part of the Warriors’ rotation this season, though the 24-year-old hasn’t played a major role for the team, averaging 3.0 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 11.4 minutes per contest. All of those numbers are slightly down from his rookie season.

Golden State has no shortage of depth up front. The team figures to use some combination of DeMarcus Cousins, Andrew Bogut, Kevon Looney, and Jonas Jerebko to replace Bell’s minutes on Wednesday.

Pacific Notes: Kings, Durant, Warriors, Clippers

The Kings came into the 2018/19 season projected to be a 25-win team. They’ve already blown past that projection and continue to vie for a playoff spot in a competitive Western Conference. And in the view of head coach Dave Joerger, the club’s success this season is just the start of something special in Sacramento, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee details.

“We’re playing hard and we don’t quit,” Joerger said. “What we’re building here, we will reap the rewards of this for many years to come — not many years from now, but going forward. If this is who we are, and I believe it is, we’re a tough out (in a playoff series) and Sacramento is a tough place to play if you’re a visiting team. We’ll keep coming at you.”

If the Kings’ young players continue to make positive strides, Joerger is right that things should only get better for the franchise moving forward. De’Aaron Fox, Marvin Bagley, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Harry Giles are all in their first, second, or third NBA season, and none are over 26 years old.

Let’s round up a few more notes from around the Pacific…

  • Speaking to Kerith Burke of NBC Sports Bay Area, Warriors star Kevin Durant offered a couple interesting answers in a Q&A, suggesting that he won’t be thinking about his legacy when he makes his free agency decision this summer. He also indicated that he doesn’t feel the need to “build something” somewhere. “I don’t need anything in this basketball world to fulfill anything in me. The NBA is never going to fulfill me,” Durant said. “It’s going to make me feel good about all of the work that I’ve put in, but I think those days of me wanting to prove something to anybody or walk around with a huge chip on my shoulder is not my thing.”
  • While Kevon Looney is probably still the Warriors‘ more trusted option, he and Jordan Bell have been trending in opposite directions lately, with Bell taking some of Looney’s minutes, per Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Both players are eligible for free agency in 2019, so they’ll be looking to finish the season strong.
  • Despite trading away their leading scorer at each of the last two deadlines (Blake Griffin in 2018 and Tobias Harris in 2019), the Clippers remain in the playoff mix and have managed to pull off the enviable feat of retooling their roster without bottoming out, writes Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.com. Armed with young players, some draft assets, and cap flexibility going forward, the Clips are in position to make a splash this offseason.

Pacific Notes: Bell, Booker, LeBron, Warren

Warriors coach Steve Kerr and reserve big man Jordan Bell engaged in a brief argument during the team’s game against the Lakers on Monday, with both figures visibly upset and Kerr eventually walking away.

The dispute occurred during a timeout with 5:14 left in the fourth, with Bell playing the final seven minutes of the team’s blowout victory.

“It was a total misinterpretation of something I said,” Kerr said, as relayed by Monte Poole of NBC Sports, “and we cleared it up.”

Bell has seen his minutes decrease from 14.2 to 10.9 per game this season, with the 24-year-old currently in his second campaign with Golden State. The return of DeMarcus Cousins is only going to complicate his role further, as most of the back-up center minutes are set for Kevon Looney.

“We’re all gonna go through times throughout the NBA when we want to speak our minds and vent, and we might be frustrated over some things,” teammate Kevin Durant said when discussing Bell. “Coach has been so open in letting guys get that out but also challenging guys as well. It’s a healthy dialogue, and it’s just a healthy relationship between us and Coach. He lets us know what he sees out there and if you have something to say to him back, he’s not going to be afraid to go back at you.

“I think Jordan understands that, at this point, we just want to continue to keep getting better. Coach will always – especially the younger guys in the league – definitely be on them a little bit more because he expects a lot out of them. He sees the potential in him. On Jordan’s side, we just want him to keep playing. That stuff happens, so we’ll move on.”

The Warriors have the option to offer Bell a $1.8MM qualifying offer prior to free agency this summer.

There’s more from the Pacific Division tonight:

  • Suns guard Devin Booker was fined $25K for escalating an on-court altercation by pushing Wolves center Gorgui Dieng on Wednesday, the NBA announced. Both Booker and Dieng were ejected following the scuffle.
  • The talent and leadership of LeBron James may not be enough for the Lakers to make the playoffs this season, Bill Oram of The Athletic cautions. James signed a four-year, $154MM contract to join the Lakers in free agency last summer, immediately changing the direction of the franchise to compete this season. He’s missed the past 14 games due to a groin injury, however, watching his team slip to the ninth-best record in the West (25-23) from afar. “No one here is just counting on LeBron carrying all the weight and taking us there,” coach Luke Walton said. “We know the only way to get there is to work. And for everyone to step up and make plays.”
  • Suns forward T.J. Warren is expected to miss two to three weeks after sustaining a bone bruise in his left ankle, tweets Gina Mizell of The Athletic. Warren’s timetable means he’ll likely return around the All-Star break in mid-February, with second-year player Josh Jackson set to get additional minutes in his place. Warren has averaged 18 points and four rebounds per game this season, shooting 49% from the floor and a career-high 43% from behind-the-arc.

Warriors Notes: Bell, Cousins, McKinnie

After an underwhelming beginning to the season, Warriors‘ forward Jordan Bell turned in one of his best performances of the 2018/19 campaign in Monday’s win over the Suns, and the Warriors need more outings like that moving forward, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.

“This is how we want Jordan to play,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters, “with great pace and energy and anticipation, being early on rotations defensively, blocking shots and running the floor.”

Bell played less than 16 minutes, but scored a season-high 10 points while also grabbing six rebounds, blocking three shots, and dishing out two assists. And after the Warriors just lost center Damian Jones to a season-ending pectoral injury, the Warriors have been desperate for any help they can get at center before DeMarcus Cousins returns from injury, who Bell credited with his good game.

“Boogie gave me a lot of confidence (Sunday) in open gym, me just kicking his (backside) and getting buckets,” Bell said. “He gave me a lot of confidence. Steve saw it and saw that the confidence was up and decided to play me today.”

Kerr added that he believes Bell is also playing better because he’s started to relax and isn’t trying to do too much – in other words, he’s learning to accept a role.

“He got off to a slow start this year by trying to do too much,” Kerr said. “Lately, he’s settling down. He’s gotten in a few times, even though he hasn’t been in the rotation, where he’s done his job and done a really good job for a few minutes. And that’s what we’re asking.”

There’s more from Oakland:

  • Last summer’s prized free agent acquisition, the aforementioned Cousins, went through all of today’s practice, reports Nick Friedell of ESPN. Per Kerr, who spoke to Cousins for a few minutes after practice, the 28-year-old still has to improve his conditioning. So, despite the full practice under his belt, it remains up in the air as to when Cousins will return to game action.
  • According to Mark Medina of the Mercury News, it appears that the Warriors will opt to keep Alfonzo McKinnie on the roster and let his contract become fully guaranteed on January 10. It would be interesting to know whether the same could be said had the Warriors’ matched the Cavaliers’ offer sheet for Patrick McCaw.
  • ICYMI: Marc Stein believes that Kevin Durant may spend one more season with the Warriors before looking to move on in free agency. Stein also hears that Cousins may be interested in staying in Oakland through the 2019/20 season and Klay Thompson may stay in Golden State past this season as well.

Warriors Notes: Centers, Curry, Green, Iguodala

Tyson Chandler‘s statement that he considered signing with the Warriors before joining the Lakers is a sign that Golden State is having second thoughts about its current group of centers, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Steven Adams dominated the Warriors on Wednesday with 20 points and 11 rebounds in Oklahoma City’s 28-point win, elevating concerns that Damian Jones, Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell aren’t doing enough in the middle.

The organization made the decision to go with younger centers this summer, letting JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia and David West all leave. However, after a few weeks Golden State was already reaching out to a veteran like Chandler to provide more stability.

Jones made his 17th start in 19 games Wednesday, but posted just four points and no rebounds, continuing his season-long struggle. Looney had four points and nine rebounds in 22 minutes, but Slater notes that his offensive limitations make it hard to trust him with a larger role. Bell has fallen out of the rotation and hasn’t played well enough to earn more minutes.

Of course, the Warriors’ problems at center could be solved in a big way once offseason addition DeMarcus Cousins is able to play. But there’s still no timetable for him to return after last season’s Achilles injury, which means center could be a lingering issue for the defending champs.

There’s more Warriors news to pass along:

  • Stephen Curry didn’t appear to be bothered by a groin sprain during shooting drills at Tuesday’s practice, but the Warriors are being careful about bringing back their star guard, Slater relays in the same story. He has already been ruled out for games Friday and Saturday against the Trail Blazers and Kings. Golden State is 2-5 since Curry suffered the injury.
  • Draymond Green, who is sidelined with a sprained toe, may be losing his impact as a vocal leader, Slater adds. Green was caught on camera giving a fiery speech during a first-half timeout, but the reaction of his teammates suggests that it wasn’t inspirational.
  • Andre Iguodala hasn’t been able to provide a scoring boost with Curry and Green sidelined, writes Dieter Kurtenbach of The San Jose Mercury News. Iguodala is averaging just 6.4 PPG since the start of November. Kurtenbach contends he could be filling the roles of playmaker and third scorer, but appears to be coasting through the regular season.

Pacific Notes: Rondo, Suns, Cauley-Stein, Bell

Lonzo Ball was once again named the Lakers‘ starting point guard on Saturday against the Spurs, but that doesn’t mean his status in the role will be permanent. Rajon Rondo made a solid return to the lineup after being suspended for three games, scoring 12 points and dishing five assists in 29 minutes. Ball struggled in his first start and shot 2-8 from the floor.

“I didn’t play well tonight,” Ball admitted, according to Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times. “Bad game. I’m human. I don’t play good every game.”

Both Ball and Rondo share similar playstyles, looking to play in transition and make their teammates better. They both struggle shooting from deep and prefer to attack the basket for points. The major difference lies in experience, where Rondo holds 11 more NBA seasons of playing time.

“Doesn’t matter who starts. They are both fine either way,” head coach Walton said. “They just want to win, is what they told me. They know that the decision is made by the coaching staff and they support each other and whatever it is they’ll go out and do their job.”

There’s more from the Pacific Division:

  • The Suns have a promising young core featuring Devin Booker, Josh Jackson and Deandre Ayton, but the organization still has a ways to go before reaching true success, writes Gina Mizell of The Athletic. “Teams don’t just overnight become championship organizations or great playoff teams,” Suns forward Ryan Anderson said. “It takes time to build. You have to allow some time for that, but you can’t really make an excuse for not playing hard.”
  • Willie Cauley-Stein has so far backed up his talk about getting paid next summer, James Ham of NBC Sports writes. Cauley-Stein has averaged an impressive 16.5 points and eight rebounds in six games for the Kings this season.
  • The Mercury News’ Logan Murdock details how Jordan Bell plans to work himself back into the Warriors’ rotation. The 23-year-old has seen limited time behind starting center Damian Jones in the team’s first six games. “It felt good to be out there,” Bell said. “It sucks when you’re watching the team do damage and you know you can help. But you got to understand how to be a pro and just realize some matchups aren’t right.”

Warriors Notes: McCaw, Livingston, Durant, Kerr

Patrick McCaw will probably accept the Warriors’ qualifying offer before training camp opens, writes Anthony Slater of The Athletic. A restricted free agent, McCaw has been waiting all summer for a team to offer more than Golden State’s QO of $1.7MM.

A disappointing second season contributed to McCaw’s current situation. His 2-point and 3-point shooting percentages both declined, and his scoring and rebounding numbers didn’t improve, even with a slight increase in playing time. Still, McCaw will likely remain in the rotation if he returns to Golden State, which may not be guaranteed if he signs elsewhere.

Both parties have leverage in the standoff, Slater notes. The Warriors can match any offer that McCaw receives, while he and his representatives know that the team can only offer minimum deals to potential replacements. With 13 players under contract, Golden State plans to give the 14th roster spot to McCaw while keeping the final one open.

Slater passes along more Warriors info in his mailbag column:

  • Golden State will have to make a decision on Shaun Livingston‘s partially guaranteed contract for 2019/20 by June 30, and the team’s choice may reflect how negotiations are going in other areas. Livingston has a $2MM guarantee on his $7,692,308 deal and could be a welcome source of savings for a team that’s already well over the cap with Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant both heading toward free agency and Draymond Green eligible for an extension. Livingston will turn 33 next week and it could be an easy decision if his game declines this season.
  • Damian Jones is the best bet to start at center when the season begins. Jordan Bell is the most talented candidate and will probably inherit the job once DeMarcus Cousins leaves in free agency, while Kevon Looney‘s reliable defense puts him in the discussion. Slater expects Jones to win the job unless he has an awful preseason, with Bell eventually taking over until Cousins is healthy enough to return in January or February.
  • Durant hasn’t made any decisions about his future, but he may be looking for a long-term deal next summer. The Warriors will have his full Bird Rights for the first time since he joined the organization and he may want security at age 31, whether that means a five-year contract with Golden State or a four-year deal elsewhere.
  • Coach Steve Kerr was able to make it through last season without major health issues, but the pain resulting from his back surgery hasn’t gone away. Kerr had to take two leaves of absences in the wake of the operation, but his recent contract extension is a sign that the issue is under control.

Warriors Notes: Curry, Cook, Bell

Stephen Curry has been the face of the Warriors franchise for the team’s three championships the past four years. He has shared the spotlight alongside Kevin Durant and two other All-Star teammates to form a modern-day dynasty.

While he was in the hospital for the birth of his child, a call from general manager Bob Myers notified him that the best team in the league got better. DeMarcus Cousins, recovering from a torn Achilles, agreed to join the Warriors for $5.3MM, giving Golden State a fifth All-Star for its starting lineup.

“I don’t think (adding Cousins in free agency) was on anybody’s radar going into the summer,” Curry said to USA Today’s Sam Amick. “(Myers) laid out how it happened with DeMarcus’ free agency, and the early stages and what-not, and he was like, ‘Hey if we can sign him would you like to play with him?’ And I said, ‘Obviously, hell yeah. That would be amazing.’”

However, the Warriors’ latest challenge will be competing with the LeBron James in the Pacific division. Curry said that Los Angeles has yet to establish an identity but when it does, the main challenge will be beating Golden State.

“There’s a lot that’s been made about the competition in the West and his eight straight Finals appearances and all that, but that just makes everybody raise the antenna up a little bit – including us,” Curry said. “It’s going to be fun for fans, playing (more) in the regular season and who knows in the playoffs. So the West obviously got stronger with LeBron but you’ve still got to beat us.”

Check out more Warriors notes below:

  • Just before the postseason started, Quinn Cook, who filled in for Curry while he was sidelined, signed a multi-year deal with the Warriors. During an appearance on  the Warriors Outsiders Podcast, Cook explained why he never considered restricted free agency (via NBC Sports).“I wanted to be part of the team,” Cook said. “They gave me a tremendous opportunity … I didn’t care.”
  • Jordan Bell is headed for restricted free agency next summer and it may come at a poor time for Golden State, Anthony Slater of The Athletic writes (subscription required). When Golden State inked Nick Young using a full mid-level exception, Bell was only offered a two-year pact. Now, he will become a RFA a year sooner and it could cost Bell money and Golden State a useful player. “I don’t mind betting on myself, though,” Bell said. “I think it was a good thing for me, especially at my age.”