Cavaliers sign Bell ahead of important offseason of decisions

Sam Amico

It's trial season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are adding another player with what they hope is upside for the future.

That player is forward/center Jordan Bell, a 2017 second-round draft pick of the Golden State Warriors. 

It was the Cavs' second move of the day, as they also converted rookie forward Dean Wade's contract to a standard deal.

Bell is 6-foot-8 and 25 years old. He spent last season riding the pine with first the Minnesota Timberwolves, followed by the Memphis Grizzlies. His best runs came in the G League with something called the Capital City Go Go.

As far as the NBA, Bell carries career averages of 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds. 

Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com was first to report the Bell news, citing league sources in saying Bell received a two-year contract. (Fedor also broke down Wade's deal here.)

And hey, why not Bell?

Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman was hardly looking for a franchise-changer. But in a perfect world, Bell will turn out to be a diamond-in-the-oh-so-rough, a player who could help the team moving forward.

You've heard of Matthew Dellavedova, right? He wasn't drafted. He was supposed to spend his career in the G League or overseas. Yet he became a great fit and an important member of some Cavs teams that reached the Finals.

That's basically the type of player the Cavs are seeking -- that all teams seek, actually.

This is the perfect time to try, too.

Bell may be someone with upside, someone with a great deal of hunger to prove the critics wrong. That is also the Cavs today. They can afford to take some risks, because let's face it, they're probably a few years away from ... well, maybe even from competing for a playoff spot.

Maybe not, too.

For the Cavs, all eyes truly are on the future. And by "future," we're talking about the NBA draft lottery (supposedly in August), the draft itself (supposedly in mid-October) and free agency (ditto).

In case you didn't know, the Cavs were one of eight teams who were told to stay home from the NBA's return in Orlando at the end of July. That's because the Cavs weren't near the playoffs. They actually finished in last place in the Eastern Conference and with the second-worst record in the entire league.

That's the bad news.

The good is they are tied for first when it comes to odds to win the lottery (with Golden State and Minnesota). They also showed some real signs of togetherness and determination under coach J.B. Bickerstaff, who led them to a 5-6 record.

Five wins in 11 games may not sound like much, but when you consider how discombobulated things were before Bickerstaff, it's actually quite a feat.

Again, Altman's biggest decisions will come in August and October, and quite frankly, all of next season.

Not only will the Cavs have to decide on the draft and free agency, they will need to determine whether to try to retain Tristan Thompson ... if Kevin Love could bring back a nice return in a trade ... if Collin Sexton and Darius Garland are a fit together in the backcourt.

And that's just the half of it.

For now, though, the focus is on adding a player such as Bell who could possibly be a help when all the other important stuff is decided.

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