Minnesota Timberwolves

Jordan Bell agrees to deal with Minnesota Timberwolves

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Amid the Warriors’ flailing interest and a hope to maximize his role, Jordan Bell accepted a one-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday, a league source confirmed to Bay Area News Group. Yahoo! Sports first reported the news.

The Houston Rockets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Utah Jazz also expressed interest in Bell, according to a league source. But Bell found the Timberwolves most appealing because it appeared he would have a bigger role there.

The Warriors had issued Bell a $1.8 million qualifying offer last week to make him a restricted free agent. But the Warriors have no plans to match Bell’s offer sheet, in hopes to maximize cap space available to retain Kevon Looney. Bell had sought other possibilities after the Warriors acquired D’Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade from Brooklyn. While the Warriors made that move to collect assets to compensate for Kevin Durant’s departure, it also limited the Warriors financially with a so-called “hard cap.” Therefore, the Warriors could not realistically retain Bell.

The Warriors had mixed feelings anyway about Bell ever since paying the Chicago Bulls $3.5 million so they could select Bell with the No. 38 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Through two NBA seasons, the Warriors remained impressed with Bell’s athleticism as well as his potential as a versatile defender and playmaker. But they had remained frustrated with Bell’s mixed progress surrounding his consistency, preparation and decision making. The Warriors became concerned at times with Bell’s maturity, including when they issued a one-game suspension in March for playing a prank on Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown by charging him for a candle he purchased at the team’s hotel in Memphis. Nonetheless, the Warriors often considered Bell coachable and eager to rectify his mistakes.

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Still, the Warriors had considered it a bigger priority to retain Looney because of his unyielding consistency as a defender and rebounder as well as his ability to handle varying starting and bench roles at different positions without complaint. Bell abstained complaining publicly about his role, but he had acknowledged feeling frustrated with his varying degrees of opportunity. In turn, the Warriors often believe Bell did not take advantage of those chances enough. It appears Bell will have more chances with Minnesota, which could feature an interesting tandem with Bell and center Karl-Anthony Towns.

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Follow Bay Area News Group Warriors beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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