It's time for the Utah Jazz and veteran guard Raja Bell to go their separate ways. The two sides have been on completely different pages for a while now and, with the season right around the corner, the time has come to find a resolution.
Shams Charania of RealGM.com reports a trade is now possible after buyout talks didn't progress as the team hoped. Bell was asked not to report to training camp, but remains on the roster. Charania names the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers as potential landing spots.
At this point, it shouldn't matter to the Jazz where he ends up as long as the team is able to eliminate a potential distraction without having to take a big hit financially. That's probably why buyout talks haven't accomplished much.
It doesn't make sense for the team to keep him around when it's apparent there is a deep fracture in the relationship that's unlikely to get repaired. And it's not like he's been a huge asset for the team during his time in Utah, anyway.
Last season, Bell averaged just six points in 34 games for the Jazz. His production has steadily decreased since he established himself with the Phoenix Suns a handful of years ago, which isn't a good sign for a 36-year-old guard.
What should the Jazz do with Bell?
That's not to say Bell couldn't be effective in a limited role for a contender, like the aforementioned Heat or Lakers. With one of those teams he would be able to carve out a niche for himself, actually providing some short-term value.
The same can't be said if he remains a member of the Jazz. Utah already has several veteran guards battling for playing time alongside a good group of forwards, which is where the strength of the team really comes from.
In other words, Bell simply doesn't fit. The disappointing part is both sides seem to understand that, but haven't been able to figure out a way to move on and now it's starting to become drama the team doesn't need.
Exploring trade options would be a good idea. Now that teams have had some preseason action to expose potential weaknesses, Bell might actually have some value on the market before the new season as teams try to finalize their rosters.
If opening night passes by and he hasn't been moved, it becomes anybody's guess as to how long the entire ordeal will drag on. The Jazz must avoid that if at all possible.
After all, it's dragged on far too long already.