According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, free agent guard Raja Bell will sign with the Utah Jazz
. Bryant was supposed to meet with Bell to recruit him to the Lakers, but the Jazz signed Bell to a deal before the meeting could take place.
The 33-year old Bell isn’t getting any younger, but his defense, toughness, shooting ability, and intelligence make him a natural fit in Jerry Sloan’s system. Bell played for Sloan during the 2004-05 and 05-06 seasons, then spent the next six years with the Suns, Bobcats, and Warriors.
Los Angeles would have been a great place for Bell to chase a ring, but the Jazz were able to offer him around $10 million over the next three years, which is much more than the Lakers would have been able to offer Bell.
This signing makes it all but official that Utah will not match the 4-year, $34 million dollar the Blazers gave to Wesley Matthews, and multiple sources are reporting that the Jazz have told Matthews they do not plan to match. If healthy, Bell will be able to replace much of what Matthews brought to the Jazz, and he comes with more experience as well as a lower price tag.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.
Preseason is only just getting underway and there’s already a potentially serious injury to report. In the game between the Hornets and Magic on Saturday night, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was taken to the locker room after suffering a right shoulder injury. The Hornets announced that he was then taken to an Orlando-area hospital for follow-up x-rays:
A few hours after the game, the Hornets announced that Kidd-Gilchrist has a dislocated shoulder:
Depending on the severity of the injury, he could miss a few weeks or a few months. Hopefully, it’s the shorter end of that timeline. We should know more on Sunday.