Utah Jazz waive Raja Bell after playoff eligibility deadline

By Zach Harper | NBA writer
Raja Bell is not eligible to play in the 2013 playoffs. (Getty Images)

The Utah Jazz have finally ended their seemingly contentious relationship with guard Raja Bell by agreeing to pay his entire salary for the rest of the season and waiving him from the roster. Bell had been highly critical of coach Tyrone Corbin, even calling him unprofessional, and hasn't played for the organization since the last game of the 2011-12 regular season.

The team announced Sunday that they've requested waivers for Bell. Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune says the team will pay his entire salary for the rest of the season (so he hasn't been bought out, just released) and have their eye on Travis Leslie from the D-League.

Via the Salt Lake Tribune:

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.

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 waivers request for Bell comes 10 days after the playoff eligibility deadline. Had Bell been waived from the Jazz roster before March 1, he would be eligible to join a playoff team as a free agent and play in the postseason. Because he was released after the March 1 deadline, he's free to sign with any team that will have him, but his season would end after the last game of the regular season, no matter what.

There had been reports earlier in the season that teams like the Los Angeles Lakers could be interested in Bell for his services, but without eligibility for the playoffs, it's hard to know if they'd even care to add him to the roster at this point.

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