Utah Jazz: Raja Bell's agent disputes report claiming he said trade being pursued
SALT LAKE CITY — Raja Bell's agent disputed an Internet report that claimed he said the organization is trying to trade the shooting guard rather than working out a buyout.
"Absolutely not," agent Herb Rudoy told the Deseret News when asked about Tuesday's RealGM.com article, which reported that he'd talked about the Jazz moving on to considering trade scenarios instead of finding a financial settlement.
"I was asked if we are discussing a buyout and I said 'no.' The rest is pure speculation," Rudoy said. "There is no trade talk that I know about."
When asked if a trade is in the works or if the team is no longer pursuing a buyout with Bell, Jazz GM Dennis Lindsey replied with a "no comment."
The 36-year-old Bell has not participated in training camp with Utah. Three days before practices began, the Jazz released a statement explaining that the organization and Bell's camp agreed to have him stay away from the team while a resolution to his contract situation can be ironed out.
Both sides agreed to not speak in public about the contract situation.
According to Bell, the two sides had a buyout in place this offseason, although he told a Florida sports radio show he never saw the actual offer. That buyout agreement never came to fruition. Bell is set to earn $3.5 million in the final season of his three-year deal with the Jazz.
At the end of the 2011-12 season, Bell told reporters he didn't have a playing future with Utah after his relationship with Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin disintegrated.
Bell, who was sent home early from a road trip after a locker room dispute with Corbin, said the way the Jazz coach treated him had been "unprofessional." In his second stint with Utah, Bell also said his relationship with Bell had suffered "irreparable damage."
Because the Jazz didn't use their amnesty on Bell, the organization has limited options. Utah can trade him, settle a buyout, cut him but pay his full contract or leave him on the roster until the end of the season whether he plays or not.
Traditionally, the Jazz prefer to maintain one or two available roster spots open for flexibility and emergency situations. Currently, Utah has 17 players on its roster, which has to be trimmed down to between 13-15 heading into the 2012-13 season.
As it stands, Utah realistically only has one open spot on its roster — an opening that could be filled by second-round shooting guard Kevin Murphy, big man Darnell Jackson or point guard Chris Quinn, all of whom have non-guaranteed deals.
The Jazz took Tuesday off after traveling back from their 120-114 loss in Portland on Monday night. Utah will practice again this morning before finishing up the preseason at home Thursday night against former Weber State star Damian Lillard's Blazers.
Bell, meanwhile, is waiting to find out his future. Last month, the Miami resident told 640 Sports' Andy Slater the Heat "would be on the top of my list" of possible suitors.
Last season, Bell started in 33 of the 34 games in which he played for the Jazz. The shooting guard, known for his tough exterior defense and outside shooting, averaged 6.4 points in a limited role. Bell led Utah in 3-point shooting with a 39-percent clip. His season was hampered, however, by nagging injuries and ongoing turmoil with Corbin.
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