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Bell waived after yearlong saga

Published March 10, 2013 7:20 pm

Jazz • Utah signs D-League star Leslie.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Jazz on Sunday waived veteran guard Raja Bell, closing the book on one of the strangest sagas in team history.

Assuming no team claims the 36-year-old shooting guard, Bell will be paid the $3.4 million owed for the final year of his three-year contract after the sides failed to reach a buyout agreement.

Previously, the Jazz had offered Bell the minimum buyout, estimated to be about $380,000.

Hours after waiving Bell, the Jazz completed what may have been the worst-kept secret in basketball, signing D-League All-Star Game MVP Travis Leslie to a 10-day contract.

Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey declined to comment on the team's decision to waive Bell.

Over four seasons, Bell appeared in 247 games in two stints with the Jazz. Last year, he averaged 6.4 points per game before being benched for the first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs. He fell out of favor further with the organization after directing pointed comments at coach Tyrone Corbin after the Jazz were swept.

In the offseason, the sides failed to reach a buyout agreement, and Bell and the team agreed that he would not return to the Jazz. On March 1, the deadline for Bell to be waived and still be eligible for the playoffs passed, essentially sticking the Jazz with paying Bell's full contract.

At the time, Bell's agent, Herb Rudoy, said Bell accepting a buyout was predicated on an offer from another team, which never materialized.

Leslie, 23, was drafted No. 47 overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2011. After being cut by the Clippers before this season, the shooting guard appeared in 28 games for the Santa Cruz Warriors. He was averaging 16.1 points and 7.4 rebounds.

The Jazz's plans to sign Leslie were first reported Friday and he was held out of Santa Cruz's game that night, despite Rudoy saying neither he nor Bell had heard from the Jazz.

Millsap gets good news on knee

Paul Millsap missed Saturday's blowout loss at New York due to inflammation in his right knee. He is listed as day-to-day after an MRI on Sunday revealed only bruising of his right patella and quadriceps tendon.

The Jazz are 1-2 in games without Millsap. —

Pistons at Jazz

P EnergySolutions Arena.

Tipoff • Monday, 7 p.m.

TV • ROOT Sports

Radio • 1280 AM, 97.5 FM

Records • Utah 32-31, Detroit 23-41

Season series • Jazz, 1-0

About the Jazz • Friday's 29-point loss to the Knicks was the Jazz's second-most lopsided of the season. ... Guard Travis Leslie is expected to be available after being called up from the D-League on Sunday. ... Paul Millsap is listed as day-to-day after an MRI revealed bruising of his right patella and quadriceps tendon. ... The Jazz defeated Detroit 90-87 at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Jan. 12.

About the Pistons • Entering Sunday, the Pistons were 5-11 since acquiring point guard Jose Calderon in early February. ... Before Sunday's game against the Clippers, the Pistons had lost four games in a row. ... Center Greg Monroe leads Detroit with 16 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.






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