Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the team will pay the remainder of Bell’s contract, but the veteran will be ineligible to play for any other team during the 2013 postseason:
The Jazz will pay Bell's whole contract to create roster space. Have been expected to add D-League guard Travis Leslie since Friday.— Bill Oram (@tribjazz) March 10, 2013
Despite being waived by Jazz today, Raja Bell ineligible for playoffs with another team. Needed to take buyout by March 1— Bill Oram (@tribjazz) March 10, 2013
Raja Bell's agent says the 36-year-old definitely plans to play again.— Bill Oram (@tribjazz) March 10, 2013
Utah and the veteran guard had been at a stalemate for the better part of a month, and this appears to be the only way the franchise intended this relationship to end.
The Jazz did not want to waive Bell during the season and allow him to sign on with the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that showed interest in him (h/t Salt Lake Tribune) and is in direct competition with Utah in the Western Conference.
Will Raja Bell play in the NBA again?
Bell will likely have to wait until the offseason to find a team that fits his needs. As for this season, no franchise in contention will waste a roster spot on a player who will not be available for the playoffs.
Look for teams like the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers and other cap-strapped teams that feel they are a piece or two away from winning a championship to consider signing Bell in 2013-14 for the veteran minimum.
As a bench presence or a starting shooting guard, Bell isn’t done making an impact on the NBA.
He is done making an impact in Utah, though.