The buyout that was expected to come in July still hasn’t arrived for Raja Bell. Because of that, the veteran guard recognizes that even a possible move into free agency might not mean the opportunity to suit up for his hometown Miami Heat.

The defensive-minded swingman with 3-point range said Friday that he remains hopeful of receiving his release from the Utah Jazz in advance of next week’s start of training camp and that few teams hold the allure of the Heat.

“They would be on the top of my list, for sure,” he said on 640 Sports’ Andy Slater Show. “Again, hometown crowd, my kids are in elementary school here. It’d be great for me to get a chance to play here in Miami where I grew up and I know a lot of people, and be a part of this history that they’re going to make for the city. But that’s not always just up to me.”

Facing a diminished role amid an uneasy relationship with the Jazz staff, the native of St. Croix, who attended both Killian High and Florida International University, appeared poised for a buyout early in the free-agency period. He is due $3.48 million this coming season from Utah on the final year of his contract.

– Reported by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel