Utah Jazz: Top Ten Jazz Players, No. 8 Raja Bell

No. 8

Raja Bell - 5.32

Raja Bell averaged 8.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists for the Jazz in 2010-11.

Raja has returned for another round after his first stint with the team in 2003-2005.

According to countless sources, Bell actually blew-off having lunch with Kobe Bryant to meet with the Jazz last summer!

Here is a more detailed explanation on how Raja came to be in Utah after he received offers from the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, via ESPN:

Raja Bell won’t be meeting face-to-face with longtime nemesis Kobe Bryant after all.

He’s signing with the Utah Jazz instead.

Agent Herb Rudoy told The Associated Press that Bell and the Jazz have agreed to terms on a three-year deal worth nearly $10 million, prompting Bell to cancel his sit-down in Los Angeles with Bryant that had been scheduled for Wednesday night.

“He loved playing for Jerry. He loved living in Salt Lake,” Rudoy said Thursday. “It was an easy decision for him to come back.”

Rudoy said Bell is thrilled to be coming back to Utah, where his career took off during two seasons with the Jazz between 2003 and 2005. He was a favorite with both the fans and coach Jerry Sloan because of his defense.

Although I personally wasn’t impressed with Bell’s performance this year, I was very excited to see him sign with the Jazz during the summer. In his prime, Raja brought tenacious defense, a smooth mid-range game, and a deadly three-point range; but, now, not so much.

Whether it’s his age, or countless injuries, he just isn’t the same player he once was. And now, with Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward knocking on the door,  it may be time to say goodbye to the once-great Raja Bell. The NBA’s new amnesty clause could take care of his contract rather quickly, but Bell may still have some value in the trade market.

If we see Raja suited up in Utah for the 2011-12 season, let’s hope that the long rest did his body good and that he will have returned to prior form.

Stay tuned to Purple and Blues for more player rankings, the latest on the NBA, and all things Utah Jazz!


Broox Anderson
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Purple and Blues | A Utah Jazz Site

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