Thursday, July 15th, 2010 at 9:00 am  |  45 responses

Raja Bell Chooses Jazz Over Lakers

Well, then. So much for Kobe’s recruiting abilities … reports the Salt Lake Tribune: “As Jazz chief executive Greg Miller waited at the airport Wednesday night to greet his newest star in Al Jefferson, general manager Kevin O’Connor was moving to steal a favorite son in Raja Bell away from the Lakers. The Jazz will bring back Bell, whose career took off during two previous seasons in Utah, on a reported three-year deal worth nearly $10 million while declining to match Portland’s offer sheet to Wesley Matthews. ‘He had the Jazz on his short list of teams from the moment free agency began,’ Bell’s agent, Herb Rudoy, wrote in an e-mail. ‘Kevin has been after him from the beginning. Things just fell into place quickly today. Raja is thrilled to be back in [Salt Lake City]! He loved his time there.’ The hope is Bell can deliver the three-point shooting and defense that Matthews brought as an undrafted rookie. Bell, however, will turn 34 in September and played in only six games last season with Charlotte and Golden State after undergoing wrist surgery.”

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  • http://www.slamonline.com James the Balla

    3.3 million, or 1.8 … I would go to Utah as well!!

  • http://www.springbored.net letsmotor

    i like it. bad enough that one former rival of Kobe’s decided to team up with him.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    I guess he would rather guard Kobe 4 times a year than play with him for 82. Oh and he likes money. Too bad the Jazz had to let Wesley Matthews go to the Blazers. Hes a kid with a lot of potential.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Kobe couldn’t even recruit Raja Bell? LMAO!!!!!!!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Eboy

    Let me stop…good move for the Jazz. They replaced Korver and Booz with Big Al and Raja…that seems like a slight upgrade.

  • Omnixyience

    Lebron couldn’t even recruit D-Fish!? LMAO!!!!!!!!


    Kobe got rejected by Raja.

  • karma

    It was obviously a money thing.

  • kash

    I completely understand where Raja is coming from, he’s relatively old and needs to get paid, in what may be his last contract.

    The silver lining for the Lakers, however, is the fact that neither the Celtics, the Magic nor the Heat were able to gain Bell’s services.

    I think right now for all 4 teams it’s just as much about getting the right pieces as it is ensuring your nearest competitors don’t get them.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    ….no rings for you


    @Eboy, right now, I think Carlos Boozer is clearly better than Al Jefferson. In fact I think Jefferson will be a big disappointment in Utah. Personally, I think the Jazz were desperate to make such a risky investment…good thing they still have Paul Millsap. Anyways, props to Kahn for getting the Jazz to take Big Al’s big contract. Speaking of the Jazz frontcourt, Mehmet Okur is coming back from a torn left achilles, which is just another question mark for the Utah heading into next season. As for the Raja Bell signing, I consider it a good one, however, the 23 year old Wesley Matthews was the better option moving forward into the future. I felt Wesley competed against Melo pretty good in the first round. Bottom line, I consider the Jazz to have downgraded slightly this off-season. Next season the Thunder will likely fight it out with Nuggets for the Northwest division crown. These off-season moves by the Jazz will make Sloan want to retire. Book it. lol

  • hobbes

    Jazz n Sloan obviously dont wanna see LA got better, they have no hope anyways, Deron is out they cant keep him. In turns of Raja? Never liked this guy though, i put him ahead of Ray Allen on my all time wanna punch your face list~

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ niQ

    Once again it’s about the money huh? I saw this in the newspaper this morning and thought it was so wack. I thought the Lakers or Heat would get him…

  • Ken G

    ya….well who will laugh when he doesn’t get a Ring in his career …. and were assuming the guy can play more then 10 games this year…..

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  • frownkilla

    he basically just said no to having a chance at a ring

  • http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/090624&sportCat=nba Drew

    Some players care more about the money.

  • Hurricane

    Damn, there goes that, now the Lakers need to go hard after Matt Barnes for 1.8mil per for like 4 years, sign our rookies Ebanks & Caracter to the rookie minimum, go after Kurt Thomas or any solid back up Center, & last resign either Shannon Brown or Josh Powell
    PG: Derek Fisher
    SG: Kobe Bryant
    SF: Ron Artest
    PF: Pau Gasol
    .C: Andrew Bynum
    PG: Steve Blake
    SG: Matt Barnes
    SF: Devin Ebanks/Luke Walton
    PF: Lamar Odom/Derrick Caracter
    .C: Kurt Thomas

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Money makes the world go round, especially going to Utah, where they have no chance to win anything!!!

  • c_cantrell

    jazz have picked up 2 solid players to help ease the pain of thier rough riden summer.. i honestly believe jefferson will be an upgrade over booz.. maybe not the first season but over time ppl will see.. and bell is an upgrade over korver.. tho korver could shoot lights out thats all he could do and bell brings a good 3 stroke with tremendous d also to the table.. cheer up deron i think the summer turned out better than u could have ever imagined bro

  • T-Money

    The difference in lifestyle between 1.8 mil and 3 mil a year is huge. Raja never made 10-15 mil a year so I can totally respect him going for the money (come to think of it, I ALWAYS respect players going for the money). / E: I’d have to disagree. I think Korver is better than Bell although they are very different and Booz is better than the overrated Al Jeff (sick post moves, sucks at everything else and even worse d)

  • riggs

    why would raja wanna play with kobe? he would punch kobe almost every day.

  • Hurricane

    I think all of these names are realistic for the Lakers, in order of likeliness: 1.Matt Barnes, 2.Kurt Thomas, 3.Tracy McGrady, 4.Steve Novak, 5.Kwame Brown, 6.Tim Thomas, 7.Louis Admundson, 8.Javaris Crittenton, 9.Rasho Nesterovic, 10.Allen Iverson
    Here’s how I hope the roster shapes out:
    PG: Derek Fisher
    SG: Kobe Bryant
    SF: Ron Artest
    PF: Pau Gasol
    .C: Andrew Bynum
    PG: Steve Blake
    SG: Matt Barnes/Sasha Vujacic
    SF: Devin Ebanks/Luke Walton
    PF: Lamar Odom/Derrick Caracter
    .C: ???????????????????????????

  • WangChung

    Based on his interviews, I’m wagering that Matt Barnes to LA is unlikely. Lakers won’t give him the $3-4mil for 4-5 years like he probably wants/deserves.

  • LA Huey


  • Javy

    Huge loss. As much as I hate Bell, it would have been a great, great addition. Defense all over with Artest and Kobe and Bynum behind….WOw.
    The closest match to Bell is Barnes. Other than that, i don’t see any improvement except for those 2 rookies which can give us something. One has been on a double-double streak.
    Blake will help on Defense as well.
    We’re ready to take on Miami.

  • Hurricane

    ESPN says Miami & Boston are the top suitors for Matt Barnes, but all they have is the vets min., which is 1.3mil, the Lakers have 1.8mil of their mid level exception left, I think the Lakers should go hard after Matt Barnes with the rest of the MLE, 500,000$ more, plus he went to UCLA
    If that don’t work maybe do a sign & trade with Orlando before they match J.J. Reddick’s offer, sending Luke Walton or Sasha Vujacic to Orlando, most likely Vujacic, I doubt Orlando would want Walton’s contract, anyway, Orlando wouldn’t have to match Reddick’s offer & they would replace him with a 3 point shooter like Vujacic, while saving money, plus Vujacic’s contract only has a year remaining, on the Lakers side, they would get 3 point shooting & defense with Barnes, which is what they wanted out of Raja Bell, plus they could probably sign Shannon Brown too

  • JTaylor21

    He probably was like okay i met your kobe, then he probably started to think about how annoying kobe can be. He was like imagine having to hear his pompous arrogant a** (bell said that himself after he jacked up kobe) for 82 games was too much for his senses.

  • ConeyIslander

    NBA players respect but don’t care for Kobe Bryant. It is what it is.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    Don’t respect Kobe??? He was offered double in Utah, it has nothing to do with Kobe. You guys especially Jgaylor21 irritate me with the hating. Its not even funny its just stupid now. This team has gotten deeper and still has the best starting “5″ in the league. I would rather have Brown anyways bc of his athleticism to catch some oops from Blake instead of Bell who is like ten yrs older. Brown still has lots of room to go especially his jumper and being more focused on D. The talent is there he just needs to put it all together. Blake may actually help Browns game by helping create for him.

  • Matt

    Bell chose Utah because of the years on contract–three–and he likes the jazz organizations (he spent two years there and talks up Sloan in interviews all the time). It’s funny how laker fan gives the jazz zero credit year after year–as if the jazz were the clippers or t-wolves. Yes, lakers are a better team but the Jazz will be really really good and compete for home court in the first round (like every year). Book that.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Al Jefferson has had two 11 rebound per game seasons. Seems pretty good at rebounding, T-Money.
    Oh, and what is Boozer good at besides scoring and rebounding?

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    What is Jefferson good @ besides scoring in the post? Boozer is a good passer as well as great jump shooter, post scorer and rebounder.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    I think Boozers Bball IQ ( much higher that Big Al) made him ideal for Utah. I think Jefferson will be good in Utah though but Boozer is a much more complete player than people give him credit for.

  • Matt

    Both booz and al are good but their games are really different. Al is better around the hoop and can play the 5, but boozer has a much better 15 ft shot. Jazz will go to pick n roll w/al vs pick n pop/booz. The offense will look different for sure.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Clearly you must be talking about some other Al Jefferson than the one who played in Minnesota for three years. Because that Al Jefferson can hit mid-range jumpers, and rebounds JUST AS WELL AS CARLOS BOOZER. Have you checked out Jefferson’s stats for the past three seasons, including last year when he was coming back from injury?
    Boozer is pick and pop, a little dive to the hoop. Jefferson is back to the basket. They both clean the glass, neither is a good passer, although Boozer might be slightly better. Neither player plays defense.
    But, Al has put up 21 and 11 with bums getting him the ball and bums on the sideline. Boozer has put up comparable numbers with Deron Williams and an all-time great.
    If Jefferson is healthy, I like his chances in Utah.

  • http://slamonline.com Kap

    I never said Jefferson could not rebound or shoot…Boozer is just superior to Jefferson in those areas. Boozer is also a good passer, you have to be in Sloans offense. Those high post passes to the guards cutting were pretty sweet.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Honestly, I saw Booz make some nice passes, but I also saw him behave like a blackhole at times on the block. I wouldn’t call Boozer a “good” or “willing” passer. Does he make good passes sometimes, sure. But so does J.R. Smith.
    How have you decided that Boozer is a superior scorer and rebounder?

  • Donovan

    If i remember correctly, Kobe elbowed Bell in the face and no call was made. So Bell retaliated with the clothesline, I understand. Kobe was probably like yeah I elbowed you and you got me back. That’s basketball. Bell obviously don’t care about winning plus Cali got hella taxes.

  • http://dsjfklf.com Jukai

    Jefferson > Boozer
    Boozer may have been a better fit on the Jazz though, not sure how Jefferson will adjust to those pick-and-roll situations, since he’s used to just planting himself on the block

  • http://www.clownpenis.com Tarzan Cooper

    Funny how lebron and wade take crap for ‘not being comptitive’ since they joined, but kobe did the same thing. Ron n rockets took la to seven games, kobe was playn dirty, ron got in his face about it(bs calls in kobes favor, what else is new). What does kobe do? Hes scared of ron so he begs him to join lal, same with raja. Wheres kobes competitiveness? He begs the players that play him best to be on his team. Thats worse than lebron going to miami

  • jeff0

    Jazz could easily be the No. 2 seed out West, depending how quickly Jefferson gets up to speed. Gotta give credit… definitely couldn’t have said that last week.

  • http://bomb.com ct

    Who cares about raja bell. other than a choke slam on kobe, he never did nuthin when it matters. he’s old and he went for a payday rather that a ring. sellout.

  • The Philosopher

    @Jackie Moon:
    Where are you?
    Do you think Raja Bell would have rejected Jordan???

  • http://idunkonthem.blogspot.com/ albie1kenobi

    i love people critisizing role players going for money instead of a chance to win a championship. think of it this way, after you stop working, would you prefer to have an extra 3 MILLION DOLLARS in your bank account or 3 nicely decorated pieces of jewelry at your home? if you say that those rings can feed you the rest of your life, you must have completely lost touch with reality. these are ROLE PLAYERS that we are talking about. no one remember who the fcuk Randy Brown is (he has 3 rings with the Bulls)