OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Golden State Warriors didn’t have a pick in Thursday night’s draft but they moved quickly when the opportunity to grab a player they wanted came up.
The NBA champions acquired Oregon forward Jordan Bell from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for financial considerations. The Bulls selected the 6-foot-9 225-pounder with the 38th pick in the second round.
“He’s one of the few guys we looked at and really wanted to see if we could get,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. “I actually was not optimistic we would be able to get him, but somehow it came to fruition.”
Bell averaged 10.9 points and 8.8 rebounds and was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in his junior year at Oregon, which advanced to the Final Four this season.
“There’s a lot of things we liked about him,” Myers said. “We got a chance to speak to him and he’s excited. He’s kind of learning under a pretty good group of veterans and we’re thrilled. Everybody we talked to had quite a few good things to say about him.”
The Warriors had no picks going into the draft. They sent their first- and second-round picks to the Utah Jazz in a 2013 three-way trade in which they acquired Andre Iguodala from the Denver Nuggets.
The Warriors’ main focus this summer is to keep intact the nucleus of a team that just beat LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games in the third Finals meeting between the two teams in as many years.
Finals MVP Kevin Durant can opt out of his contract to restructure a deal that would give Golden State some flexibility in contract negotiations with free agents such as Iguodala or Shaun Livingston — two key members of the two title teams.
Stephen Curry is expected to receive a contract worth more than $200 million but also has said he will do what he can to allow the Warriors to re-sign their free agents.
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