Jazz sign Raja Bell

The Utah Jazz announced today that the team has signed guard Raja Bell to a multi-year free agent contract.  Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.

“Raja has proven to be an excellent three-point shooter over a number of years and is a good defender who brings a toughness on the perimeter,” said Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor.  “He knows Coach Sloan’s system and what he expects of him.  Raja had a lot of choices and we’re happy he chose the Jazz.”

Bell (6-5, 215, Florida International) owns career averages of 10.3 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 604 career games (383 starts) over 10 NBA seasons with Philadelphia, Dallas, Utah, Phoenix, Charlotte and Golden State since entering the league on a 10-day contract in April 2001.  Bell has also appeared in 68 career playoff games (40 starts), averaging 8.0 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 25.9 minutes with Philadelphia, Dallas and Phoenix.

Twice named to the NBA All-Defensive Team (First Team in 2006-07 and Second Team in 2007-08), Bell will enter the 2010-11 season ranked 11th in NBA history in career three-point field goal percentage (.411), minimum 250 made, and is fifth on that list among active players.  Bell has shot at least .400 from beyond the arc in each of the last six seasons, hitting 100+ three-pointers in five of the last six campaigns.

In two seasons during his first stint with the Jazz (2003-05), Bell appeared in 145 games (36 starts) and averaged 11.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 26.3 minutes.  He currently ranks fifth in Jazz history in three-point accuracy (.387, minimum 50 made).

Bell’s best statistical season came in 2005-06 with Phoenix, when Bell appeared in 79 games (all starts) and registered career-high averages of 14.7 points and 2.6 assists to go with 3.2 rebounds in a career-high 37.4 minutes per game.

In 2009-10, Bell appeared in six games with Charlotte and Golden State before missing the remainder of the season following left wrist surgery.  Bell saw action in five games for Charlotte (all starts) before being traded to Golden State on November 16, 2009, playing one game for the Warriors prior to the season-ending surgery.  Bell averaged a combined 11.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 30.0 minutes between the two teams.

A native of St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Bell was undrafted out of Florida International in 1999 and played in the USBL, CBA and IBL before the Philadelphia 76ers signed him to a 10-day contract on April 6, 2001.