Did The Warriors Ruin The Dynasty By Blowing The Draft? Part 4: 2017 Jordan Bell

I had an irrational good feeling about this guy

We laid out the constraints and boundaries of this analysis in the series master post, Did The Warriors Ruin The Dynasty By Blowing The Draft? An In-Depth Series. This also has links to all the articles in the series.

Who was a better pick in 2017?

The Warriors picked Jordan Bell at #38. They famously bought the pick from the Bulls for Cash Considerations™. I was one of the very first on the Bell Bandwagon, living and dying with my irrational good feeling.

The players drafted after Bell, ordered by Win Shares:

  • Monte Morris, #51. Spent most of year 1 in the G-League, but ended up as a very solid PG off the bench for DEN.

  • Thomas Bryant, #42. This big also spent year 1 in the G-League and then got dumped by the Lakers, I believe as part of the LeBron Capital Incorporated buyout and purge. He’s now a significant rotation player for WAS flashing some stretch-5 potential.

  • Jordan Bell, #38. Our guy. Spectacular cult hero with crucial contributions in the 2018 HOU series and some spot minutes in the 2019 Finals, but overall a role player with minor impact after he got in Steve Kerr’s doghouse.

  • Sterling Brown, #46. Plays spot minutes as a bench wing for MIL. 3-and-D potential.

  • Damyean Dotson, #44. Bench player playing 16 MPG for the woeful NYK.

  • Dillon Brooks, #45. Decent defending 3-and-D who’s started for MEM ever since his rookie year, except for Year 2 when he was injured.

Dillon Brooks is the one person that I think could have made a bigger contribution to the GSW title runs and is the only player I’d take over Bell. GSW was focused on getting the bigs of the future back then (drafting Looney, Jones, and Bell) so Brooks was probably not on their radar, given that they must have seen fellow Oregon Duck Brooks on every college video clip they scouted of Bell. Too bad.

Morris and Bryant have turned into solid players, but went straight from the draft into the G-League. GSW was playing to win the trophy every year and couldn’t wait for a project to mature like that. (On the other hand, GSW took flyers on Looney and D Jones, whom they knew would lose a lot of time healing from injury, so… shrug…)

How did GSW do against the field?

  • Jordan Bell had the #17 most Win Shares of his 2015 draft class and the #11 highest Value Over Replacement Player.

  • Bleacher Report took him #30 in a 2020 redraft. DraftSite took Bell at #24.

Solid value for the #38 pick.

2016 Pick Grades: Jordan Bell, B-

The Jordan Bell pick was a good one, from the maneuvers to get the second round pick, to picking arguably the best player available at #38 (outside of Dillon Brooks). He made crucial contributions in the 2018 Playoffs and also the liquor company Hennessy’s financial results after the 2018 parade.

The grade gets dinged because the team didn’t develop him into a role he could embrace. Yes, this is almost word-for-word what I wrote about Patrick McCaw. Make of that what you will.

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