Raja Bellís agent denies Utah Jazz trade rumors
“Absolutely not,” said Herb Rudoy, when asked about the initial article that referenced him stating the Utah Jazz were indeed weighing trade scenarios regarding Raja Bell.
"I was asked if we are discussing a buyout and I said 'no,'” Herb Rudoy further clarified on his statement to Real GM. “The rest is pure speculation. There is no trade talk that I know about."
However, the web was buzzing with reports on Tuesday that cited the Utah Jazz had dropped all buyout negotiations with Raja Bell after trying to find common ground (and possibly a larger discount) for a compensation on the final year (worth $3.5 million) of his three-year contract.
At one stage the two sides reportedly reached an agreement on the buyout, but the deal was never inked after talks fell through in August.
The Utah Jazz since told Raja Bell not to show up for training camp, which was also acknowledged in a public statement by the team just three days before media day. However, Raja Bell remained on the Utah Jazz’s roster all through training camp and preseason.
When Utah Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey questioned later on Tuesday if the team was looking into a trade for Raja Bell or still working out a buyout, he replied with a "no comment."
Raja Bell’s relationship with the Utah Jazz took a sore turn last season after he publically criticized team coach Tyrone Corbin. Towards the end of last season, Raja Bell claimed he had no foreseeable future with the Utah Jazz, especially after the “unprofessional way” Tyrone Corbin treated him throughout the season.
Although Raja Bell struggled to score during the past three seasons with Utah Jazz (averaging 6.4 points per game while appearing in 34 of 66 games in his 2011-2012 campaign), he fared better from the arc with a 39 percent shooting from the 3-pointer range last season.
The 12-year NBA veteran Raja Bell has a career average of 10 points per game with a 40.6 percent shooting from the arc, while playing for six different teams.
Maybe, Raja Bell will be able to perform better in a different system, since apart from his strong outside shooting skills, the 36-year-old is also a hard-nosed defender who can provide veteran teams (and potential title contenders) with depth at guard.
The Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers have been long linked as Raja Bell’s next possible destination, but the Lakers stand no chance of signing him after a busy offseason and they’d need something more enticing that a Steve Blake trade to shake on a deal with the Utah Jazz.
The Utah Jazz have already hit the league maximum by signing 15 players to their contracts, along with two additional training camp invitees.