Jazz guard Raja Bell said Wednesday he is exploring the option of playing overseas during the NBA lockout.
Bell confirmed a statement by his agent Herb Rudoy, who said that, "Nothing is imminent, but we are weighing some opportunities."
Rudoy would not reveal the teams or countries his client might play for, and Bell conceded it is still early in the process. However, he acknowledged that Italy, Spain and Israel would be ideal locations.
The veteran Jazz guard wants to sign with a good, well-run team instead of getting a paid vacation.
"I have two kids, with a third on the way and a family," Bell said. "If I go over there, I'm going to work."
The stalled 2011-12 NBA season, combined with the realization that more games could be canceled as the lockout drags on, has left Bell with the realization that it could be a long time before he wears a Jazz uniform again.
"This is my job," Bell said. "This is what I do. … It gets to be a little weird when you can't do your job."
Bell, who serves as Utah's player representative, said he checks in with the NBA Players Association an average of once a week to learn the details of collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
"I'm aware of what's going on," Bell said. "But I'm not sitting around looking for bad news."
He is optimistic and hopeful a compromise will be reached between players and owners that will save the season. However, he's also realistic about where talks stand and what's at stake.
"Both sides are going to have to make a couple more concessions for there to be a deal," Bell said.
Brian T. Smith