Raja Bell will not accept a buyout of his contract with the Jazz before Friday’s midnight deadline for him to be eligible to sign with another team and play in the postseason, his agent told Bill Oram of 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.”
“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.”
Lakers fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as Bell was on the team’s radar, thanks to the fondness both Mike D’Antoni and Kobe Bryant have expressed for Bell’s game in the past. But besides the fact that Bell is no longer close to the defensive stopper and high-percentage three-point shooter that he once was, reports had L.A. cooling on the idea in recent days over payroll and luxury tax concerns.
It’s unclear whether or not Bell has anything left; his production has diminished quite a bit in recent seasons, likely due to a combination of injury and age. His temperament isn’t a great fit for … well, anyone at this point, which is why he’s been paid to stay home by the Jazz since the beginning of the season.
James Harden had a historic season in Houston.
Since it’s Friday afternoon and your sports viewing options consist of watching guys about to be cut from NFL rosters try to impress, why not check out Harden’s best plays from last season. It’s worth a couple minutes of your time.
Jeff Withey‘s ex-fiancée accused him of domestic violence, but he was not charged.
That frees him to continue his basketball career, which he’ll do in Dallas.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
The Mavericks could use another center, even if they re-sign Nerlens Noel. Salah Mejri is the only other true center, though Dirk Nowitzki will now play the position.
Withey is a good rim protector. Just don’t ask him to do anything away from the basket.
Dallas annually brings excess players to training camp and has them compete for regular-season roster spots. Whether or not his salary is guaranteed, Withey will likely fall into that competition.
The Grizzlies’ Grit & Grind era has ended.
Zach Randolph signed with the Kings, and Tony Allen appears likely to leave Memphis, too. The Grizzlies are prioritizing younger/cheaper players like Ben McLemore and Tyreke Evans.
Marc Gasol via Ala Carta, as translated by HoopsHype:
I’m very ambitious and I’ve wanted Memphis to be a great franchise. We’ve grown a lot the last 6-7 years, but we have to keep growing. If this is not lined up, maybe we may have to revisit things.
Gasol has been loyal to Memphis, and his first wish is probably winning there. But Giannis Antetokounmpo put it well: Teams must also do right by their players. Gasol is 32 and doesn’t have much time in his prime left. I see why rebuilding wouldn’t interest him.
But what will he do about it if the Grizzlies don’t prioritize the present? They made their push last summer with a max contract for Chandler Parsons, but because Parsons can’t stay healthy, that deal only inhibits team growth.
Gasol is locked up for two more years before a player option. He doesn’t have much leverage. This is part of the reason LeBron James keeps signing short-term contracts. Gasol doesn’t have the same ability to steer his team in his desired direction
On the potentially bright side, rebuilding teams often don’t have much use for 32-year-olds guaranteed more than $72 million over the following three years. If the fit devolves, Memphis becomes more likely to trade him.
The Celtics already said they’d retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34.
Now, we know when.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they will retire Paul Pierce’s No. 34 after a mid-season game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday, Feb. 11
After? That’s apparently in response to a new rule that penalizes teams not ready to play after a 15-minute halftime. These ceremonies can drag on, and nobody wants to cut Pierce short. I wonder whether this will start a trend of number retirements coming after games.