NBA

NBA Rumors: Raja Bell Deciding Between Kobe Bryant’s Lakers and LeBron James’ Heat?

Raja Bell is 35 years old, spent a good chunk of last season nursing a knee injury, and publicly clashed with the Utah Jazz coaching staff during his brief time with the team.

Who needs a guy like that on their roster? The Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat, apparently.

On Sunday afternoon, Bell told the Salt Lake Tribune that he had reached a verbal agreement with the Jazz for a buyout of his 2012-13 contract. That means within the next few days, the veteran shooting guard will be a free agent and allowed to sign with whomever he wants to.

Last year, Bell averaged 6.4 points on 47 percent field goal shooting through 34 games. He also shot 39 percent from behind the arc – a figure that’s in line with the 40 percent average he’s put up over the course of his career.

Per Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, the Lakers and Heat are both potential landing spots for Bell:

After agreeing to a contract buyout with the Utah Jazz, guard Raja Bell wants to explore the possibility of signing with his hometown Miami Heat, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Los Angeles Lakers also could emerge as a potential destination for Bell, sources said.

Bell, 35, played his high school and college basketball in Miami.

You’ll recall, prior to him deciding that he would rather play for the Jazz, Bell got a hard sell from Kobe Bryant about linking up with the Lakers. Be it because of their past rivalry or for money reasons, Bell ultimately spurned L.A. in favor of a three-year deal with Utah.

The addition of Steve Nash could warm Bell up to the idea of being a Laker this time around, though.

As far as Miami – it’s clear why Bell would be interested in joining up with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest; however, it’s unclear why they would need him.

The Heat already got their three-point specialist this weekend in Ray Allen, and they have their old guy defensive irritator in Shane Battier. At this point, Bell might not be worth the cap space in the eyes of Miami brass.

Get more Lakers news and rumors on Twitter: @agroberman

(Kudos Yahoo! Sports, Salt Lake Tribune)

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