Jordan Bell

Pacific Notes: Suns Staff, Walton, Bell, LeBron

A trio of assistants/scouts in other organizations could soon be joining Monty WilliamsSuns staff, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweetsSteve Blake (Trail Blazers), Randy Ayers (Nets) and Mark Bryant (Thunder) have emerged as top contenders to join Williams in Phoenix. Williams was hired by the Suns three weeks ago after spurning overtures from the Lakers.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Luke Walton was spotted by the media helping out with the Kings’ pre-draft workout on Thursday but he didn’t speak to the press, Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee reports. The new Kings head coach hasn’t faced the media since a lawsuit alleging that he sexually assaulted a former reporter was filed last month. The league and organization are jointly investigating the matter.
  • Jordan Bell, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, has made a positive impression in the postseason, as the team’s website notes. The Warriors forward received a start in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals and averaged 6.8 PPG, 2.3 RPG and 2.0 APG in the series. “Jordan Bell is one of those guys who has got that energy,” veteran swingman Andre Iguodala said. “He thrives off the spotlight. He enjoys being in those moments and people are watching him.
  • People within LeBron James‘ inner circle expressed concern that the dysfunction within the Lakers organization could ruin the team’s summer even before Magic Johnson‘s public criticism of GM Rob Pelinka and the front office structure, Sam Amick of The Athletic reports. The challenge of convincing at least one top free agent to join James was already seen as daunting around the league, and recent developments have make that uphill climb far worse, Amick adds.

Warriors Notes: Durant, Thompson, Cousins, Ponds

Kevin Durant‘s agent insists that the Warriors‘ star remains undecided about what he’s going to do in free agency, relays Chris Iseman of USA Today. Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s The Future of Everything Festival, Rich Kleiman said Durant won’t begin thinking about his decision until after the NBA Finals.

“That is 100 percent undecided,” he said. “I’m waiting on Kevin. That’s the truth. I think there’s a feeling that this thing is like war games and everybody is playing chess years out. But when somebody gets to the level of basketball that he’s at, you can’t juggle focus like that. There’s so many things he’s juggling too. He’s not scripting his future while he’s playing the way he plays and practicing the way he’s practicing.”

There’s still no timetable for when Durant might return after suffering a strained right calf in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. He has eight days until the championship series begins.

There’s more on the Warriors:

  • Owner Joe Lacob is prepared to spend big this summer to keep the team together, but DeMarcus Cousins may not be part of that equation, writes Tim Kawakami of The Athletic. Lacob indicated he will make max offers to Durant and fellow free agent Klay Thompson, even though those would push the Warriors to record luxury tax levels. However, Kawakami doesn’t believe the team can compete financially for Cousins, who will only be eligible for a 20% raise on this year’s $5.337MM contract if he stays in Golden State. He notes that management seems likely to keep unrestricted free agent Kevon Looney and restricted free agent Jordan Bell and is confident they can be an effective center tandem along with Damian Jones. The Warriors will probably have the option of adding Andrew Bogut to the roster again next March when his Australian season ends.
  • Health updates on Durant and Cousins are expected Thursday, tweets Anthony Slater of The Athletic. The Warriors will resume practicing tomorrow after taking two days off following the Game 4 win over Portland. Thursday will mark one week since Durant and Cousins were last evaluated.
  • St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds had a workout scheduled with Golden State today, according to Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog. Ponds, who also had a session with the Bulls this week, is projected as a late second-rounder, but believes he can move up. “I think I’m late-first round,” he said. “And that’s my goal, what I’m aiming for.”

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Western Conference

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. With the playoffs in full swing, we turn our attention to the Western Conference:

Patrick Beverley, Clippers, 30, PG (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $23MM deal in 2015
Taking a charge while holding one his shoes that came loose epitomizes how Beverley and his team have played during the series. There’s a huge talent gap between them and the Warriors but they refuse to give an inch. Beverley has done a whole lot more than get under Kevin Durant‘s skin. He’s second on the team in assists and rebounds through the first five games while shooting 42.9% from deep. In Games 4 and 5, he averaged 14.5 PPG, 12 RPG and 4.5 APG. Beverley will get a nice raise this summer, whether he lands a starting job or a sixth man role.

Al-Farouq Aminu, Trail Blazers, 28, SF (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $30MM deal in 2015
Portland’s glue guy played an underrated role in the team’s first-round knockout of the Thunder. He was second on the team in defensive rebounds, a major factor with Jusuf Nurkic sidelined. He also led the team in blocks, was second in steals and shot 40.9% from distance, along with providing his usual solid defense. Aminu doesn’t dazzle but he quietly does his job. Reliable, durable role players like Aminu will always have suitors and he’ll receive a full mid-level exception or more on the open market.

Jordan Bell, Warriors, 24, PF/C (Down) — Signed to a two-year, $2.2MM deal in 2017
DeMarcus Cousins‘ season-ending injury hasn’t helped Bell get on the court. He only played 14 minutes in the first five games against the Clippers and was benched in Games 4 and 5. Bell’s immaturity has irked the staff, including a late-season suspension for making unauthorized charges to assistant coach Mike Brown‘s hotel room. Bell can be a restricted free agent if the Warriors extend a $1.8MM qualifying offer, but the 2017 second-round pick doesn’t appear to have a future with the organization.

Markieff Morris, Wizards, 29, SF (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $57.3K deal in 2019
Brother Marcus Morris ripped the Thunder coaching staff over Markieff’s limited role during the postseason. Markieff only played four minutes in the 118-115 Game 5 loss to Portland that ended the Thunder’s season. He wasn’t much of a factor in the first four games of the season, when he averaged around 13 MPG. Markieff praised the organization afterward but his minimal impact won’t help in unrestricted free agency. Add in the neck issue that limited him to 58 regular-season games and Morris won’t have teams beating down his door.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.