The Jazz announced Friday that they have told Raja Bell, who is under contract with the team, that it would be best if he did not attend training camp next week. General Manager Dennis Lindsey issued the following statement:
“I have spoken with Raja and his representative, Herb Rudoy, and we have mutually agreed that although Raja remains under contract, it is in the best interest of all parties that he not re-join the team next week when the Jazz begins training camp. We will now move forward focusing on Jazz basketball and our preparation for the upcoming season. We will have no further comment on this matter.”
There has been plenty of buzz lately around Bell's situation in Utah, and many assumed that it would result in a trade or buy out before the start of camp. Bell was in Salt Lake City on Monday for a physical, but as of yesterday had not heard from the team, says Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune.
The 35-year-old Bell is set to make $3.5MM in his final season with the Jazz. His playing time drastically fell last season as he reportedly butted heads with head coach Tyrone Corbin, but Bell could probably still be a valuable role player on the right team.
Jerry Zgoda, of the Star Tribune, tweets that the Timberwolves valued Bell's defense before which indicates they may be a fit once again. While I can't imagine the Jazz agreeing to send Bell to a division rival, if Zgoda is right it could explain part of their hesitation to simply part ways with the guard.