Latest On Raja Bell, Jazz, Lakers

February 28 2013 at 2:01pm CST By Zach Links

THURSDAY, 2:01pm: The Jazz and Bell will continue discussing a buyout right up until tomorrow night's deadline, according to ESPN.com's Marc Stein (via Twitter). Stein adds that the Lakers aren't necessarily the most likely destination for Bell if a buyout occurs, since the team isn't eager to add to its significant tax bill (Twitter link).

TUESDAY, 1:15pm: Utah's senior VP Kevin O'Connor appeared on team-owned radio station 1280 The Zone to address the Bell situation, as Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune details. O'Connor said that the Jazz are willing to buy out Bell's contract, but want the veteran forward to give up a portion of his guarantee, particularly if he intends to sign with the Lakers, to make it worth Utah's while.

"I think it's been from the start. We'll be willing to look at a buyout," O'Connor said. "We're not just going to let him walk away. We're paying him the money. He's going to get money. He can't get all the money from us and then go make more with the Lakers. Oh, thank you. I'd get fired for that. I'd fire me for that."

MONDAY, 6:15pm: Veteran Raja Bell, who is nearing a buyout agreement with the Jazz, has been telling players and friends around the league that he'll join the Lakers, tweets Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld.  Bell won't sign off on a buyout arrangement with Utah until he has his next job lined up.

Bell is in the final year of his deal in which he is earning $3.48MM and the two sides have been going back and forth on a buyout all season.  The Lakers are among the teams with interest in the 36-year-old and an available roster spot to add him to the mix.

Bell has to be cut loose prior to Friday's buyout deadline if he hopes to appear in the postseason for another team this season.  Free agents who haven't been on an NBA roster at any point this season could still sign after that date and be playoff-eligible, but anyone currently on a roster must be released by March 1st to retain postseason eligibility.

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