Life as an NBA rookie isn’t easy, whether you’re entering the league with a full hype squad behind you like Lonzo Ball or quietly selected with the 38th overall pick in the second round of the 2017 NBA draft like Jordan Bell.
The success rate of second round draft picks isn’t promising. You’ll find success stories in the second round, certainly, and there is no better example than the Sacramento Kings’ selection of Isaiah Thomas with the very last pick of the 2011 NBA Draft. While it’s probably too early to call Jordan Bell one of those success stories just yet, he’s well on his way. Through 22 games with the Golden State Warriors this season, Bell is averaging 4.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals, and 1.o blocks on .742 shooting from the field in just 11.3 minutes per game.
Beyond the numbers, though, Bell has managed to work himself into the regular rotation of the best team in the NBA. That would be an impressive feat for any rookie, and doubly so for a second round pick where expectations can be nonexistent. Bell made headlines immediately, positively for his strong summer league play, and negatively for his flashy, somewhat-disrespectful back-board dunk against the Mavericks in the final moments of a blowout win earlier this season.