"We'll be willing to look at a buyout. We're not just going to let him walk away; we're paying him the money. He can't get all the money from us and then get more from the Lakers, 'Oh Thank you!' I'd get fired for that — I'd fire me for that," O'Conner said in the interview.
O’Connor said that if it were in the best interest of the team, he would keep Bell under contract so that he doesn't sign with the Lakers. The Lakers currently trail Utah and Houston for the final playoff spot in the West.
"Raja said 'I'll take a buyout.' We said it from the start, all we want is a minimum buyout. We never heard from him. He never said yes to it; we would have done it right away."
Might be in their best interest to let the Lakers have him. They get older and slower than they already are. Like I said if he doesn't want to give up the minimum money I'd wait and cut him after the deadline for him to be playoff eligible.
Bell's second stint with the Jazz has been lackluster. During the 2010-11 season, he played in 68 games posting the second worst field goal percentage of his career while averaging just under 31 minutes per game.
According to Yahoo! Sports contributor Andrew Sweat, Bell is one of "the five worst PER guards over the last five years."
PER stands for Player Efficiency Rating, an advanced basketball statistic that attempts to measure a players overall per-minute performance. The formula is calculated so that the league average is always 15.00.
According to Sweat, Bell has the worst PER among guards who have averaged at least 25 minutes per game, posting a 9.8.
During the lockout shortened 2011-12 season he played in 34 games starting in 33 and averaging 6.4 points per game, his lowest in 10 seasons. He was also sent home early during a road trip after a locker room dispute with Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin.
"I just thought that the way I was handled by Ty was unprofessional," Bell said after the game. "I do think given the opportunity and a role that's established and not just jumping all over the place from night to night that I could contribute."
In the same interview, Bell also said he didn't think he had a future with the team, expressing dissatisfaction with the lack of communication.
"When it gets to a point where there's absolutely no communication for months on end," Bell said, "I think we all know that that's irreparable damage."
The Utah Jazz and Raja Bell continue to discuss a buyout.
Bell hasn't played throughout the season.
Bell has long been linked to the Los Angeles Lakers, but the team reportedly doesn't want to add any more payroll.
Al Jefferson is doubtful with a sprained left ankle, Paul Millsap is a
game-time decision with the same injury and DeMarre Carroll will also be a
game-time decision with a bone bruise and patellar tendinitis in his left
The Jazz host the Bobcats on Friday at 7 p.m. at EnergySolutions Arena.
Meanwhile on Thursday, both Millsap and Randy Foye were away from the team
for the births of daughters. Foye and his wife had their third daughter, Pilar,
while Millsap and his girlfriend became parents to Paular (pronounced the same
as Foye's daughter, "puh-LAHR").
Same birthday and nearly the same name.
"It's cool," Foye said. "We didn't actually know that they were going in on
the same day to be induced until probably three, four days ago. We joked about
that. I've never heard about that before I think that's probably once in a
So shorthanded, though, were the Jazz at Thursday's
practice, that 6-foot-8 Gordon Hayward slid over to play center, defending Enes
"He did pretty well," said Kanter, who will likely get his second career
start against the Bobcats. "He's pretty strong."
Hayward was sheepish about his role, although Mo Williams said the backup
swingman drew a travel against Kanter.
"I was mainly just a screener," Hayward said. said. "They needed me for
defense, blocking shots, that sort of stuff."
Can definitely see G playing some stretch 4 as he matures physically
Millsap has already missed one game with the injury, Wednesday's loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Derrick Favors started in his place, finishing with 17 points and 15 rebounds.
After missing only 14 games due to injury in his career, Millsap said his status for Friday would depend on whether his lateral movement improves. He said he was able Friday to run in straight lines and get some shots up.
If both Jefferson and Millsap sit against the Bobcats, it would likely mean the first time Kanter and Favors, third overall picks in back-to-back drafts, start a game together.
Bobcats will be a good test run for the kids. Hopefully have an open roster space in the next few hours to bring in reinforcements too.
Raja Bell will not accept the Utah Jazz's minimum buyout offer before
Friday's midnight deadline, his agent, Herb Rudoy, told The Salt Lake Tribune.
Bell, who is being paid $3.48 million this season, has been away from the
team all year since directing unflattering comments at coach Tyrone Corbin at
the end of last season. Earlier this week, Jazz Executive Vice President of
Basketball Operations Kevin O'Connor told a team-owned radio station
that the Jazz had offered the minimum buyout to Bell before the season and that
"we never heard from him."
Bell needed to take a buyout by midnight Friday to be
eligible for the playoffs with another team.
"The framework of the buyout we have had in place all year was premised on
us finding an offer in the league," Rudoy said in a text messsage to The Tribune. "We did not, so Raja is turning down the buyout."
Bell was closely linked in reports to the Lakers, who reportedly were
interested in adding the 36-year-old guard for a possible playoff run but were
reportedly hesitant to add to their $100-plus million payroll.
Bell played 102 games over two seasons in his second stint with the Jazz. He
also played in Utah from 2003 to 2005. In 12 NBA seasons with six teams, Bell
has averaged 9.9 points per game.