Raja Bell Chooses Jazz Over Lakers

by July 15, 2010

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.”