After toiling in Golden State for the first two seasons of his career, Bell split his time between the Grizzlies and Timberwolves during the 2019-20 campaign and then signed a two-year contract with the Cavaliers in late June. However, Bell's stay in Cleveland was short and never saw him take the floor with the Cavs, as he and Alfonzo McKinnie were then traded to the Lakers on Nov. 22 in exchange for veteran big man JaVale McGee. Bell was then released by Los Angeles just two days later, leaving him in search of his next NBA opportunity. The Oregon product displayed some upside as a scorer, rebounder and defender during his three-season college tenure, and he followed that up with some serviceable numbers in corresponding categories on a per-minute basis during his first two pro seasons in Golden State.
Bell regressed across nearly every statistical category as a sophomore, contributing minimally in a reserve role that saw him average only 11.6 minutes across 68 appearances. Having signed with the Timberwolves this offseason, he'll be competing with Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng and Noah Vonleh for playing time. Vonleh is coming off a breakout campaign with the Knicks last season, while Dieng boasts a substantial advantage in the experience department. As a result, Bell may very well find himself behind all three on the team's depth chart heading into opening night. Regardless of whether he's able to leapfrog anyone in the rotation, Bell simply hasn't showcased the ability to make much of a statistical impact across an entire season. As a result, he can be avoided in all but the deepest of fantasy leagues.
Bell was one of the biggest surprises of last season, garnering 14.2 minutes per game for Warriors despite being the 38th pick in the 2017 Draft. He was most impressive during his 13 starts, averaging 7.2 points on 60.6 percent shooting, 5.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and a combined 2.7 blocks/steals across 21.9 minutes. Bell also posted one 20-point game, three games with at least 10 boards, four games with at least five assists, and six games with at least three blocks. Bell should be able to garner more run this season, though the arrival of DeMarcus Cousins -- expected to replace the minutes of the departed JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia -- doesn't make the path to a Fantasy-relevant workload simple. Plenty of questions surround Cousins’ situation, including when he'll debut the team and how effective he'll be, so it’s possible Bell ultimately gets put in a situation where he can be worth a late-round Fantasy selection in most standard formats.
Since winning their first NBA title under Steve Kerr in 2014-15, the Warriors have made adding athleticism to the frontcourt a top priority in the draft, and Bell, the 38th overall pick in June who was acquired via trade from the Bulls, certainly fits that ideal. At 6-foot-8 with a 6-foot-11 wingspan, Bell lacks the measurables most teams value in their frontcourt players, but his uncommon agility and explosive leaping ability might be enough to help him find a home in the NBA as a small-ball power forward or center. Since Bell doesn’t have much of a perimeter game and excels mostly as a finisher around the rim, he projects better for the latter position in the modern NBA, but there aren’t many questions about his ability to defend both frontcourt spots. Bell averaged 8.8 boards, 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals in 28.9 minutes per game as a junior at Oregon, and already turned heads with his play at that end of the court in the summer league. It’s hard to imagine a better landing spot for Bell than Golden State, where he can learn under another undersized, versatile frontcourt defender in Draymond Green, but the Warriors certainly won’t expect the second-round pick to claim a rotation spot right out of the gate. Instead, Bell could bounce between the G-League and NBA regularly as a rookie, picking up minutes off the bench with the Warriors when injuries create openings.