Jazz waive Raja Bell, will sign Travis Leslie
The Utah Jazz's year-long standoff with guard Raja Bell came to an end Sunday when they waived the 36-year-old. The move opens up a roster spot for the Jazz, which according to a league source they will use to sign D-League All-Star Game MVP Travis Leslie to a 10-day contract.
The Jazz's interest in Leslie was first reported on Friday by Yahoo! Sports.
The source described Leslie's callup from the Santa Cruz Warriors as "imminent" but that it was unclear whether it would happen on Sunday.
Bell had not played for the Jazz since the end of the last season and reached an agreement that kept him away from the team after he leveled pointed comments at Tyrone Corbin, including calling the head coach unprofessional. Assuming Bell clears waivers, the Jazz will pay him the full $3.4 milliion remaining on his contract after a months-long impasse in which the sides could not agree to a buyout deal.
The Jazz and Bell failed to reach a buyout agreement by March 1, which would have allowed Bell to be eligible to play in the postseason with another team. However, the buyout was predicated on Bell finding another contract and, despite reported interest from the Los Angeles Lakers, that never materialized.
Bell spent four seasons with the Jazz in two separate stints, and averaged 6.4 points in 34 games last season before being benched for the first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs.