After reporting last night that the Jazz were close to reaching a buyout agreement with Raja Bell, Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune confirms that the two sides have reached a verbal agreement on a contract buyout. Once the deal is made official and Bell becomes an unrestricted free agent, he'll be free to sign with any team in the league, and the veteran says he intends to explore all his options.
"We typically play it pretty close to the vest. [Agent] Herb [Rudoy] and I are pretty private," Bell said. "But, in essence, [I’m] pretty much a free agent. I don’t think the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed. But we’ve been given the green light by Utah to go ahead and find something that works for us. We’ve agreed to the terms. So I think it’s safe to say now we are in the market again and we’re entertaining our options at this point."
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Bell wants to explore the possibility of signing with his hometown Heat, and adds that the Lakers are a possibility as well. Within his above-linked piece, Smith also names the Celtics as a possibility for Bell.
While it doesn't appear Bell ever formally requested a trade, it's no surprise that he won't be returning to Utah. The 35-year-old didn't see eye-to-eye with Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin, with Bell labeling the coach "unprofessional" after the season. Bell had been slated to earn $3.48MM this season.