NBA notebook

Bell books return trip with Jazz

Associated Press / July 16, 2010

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The Utah Jazz are bringing back Raja Bell.

Bell and the Jazz agreed to a three-year deal worth around $10 million, said agent Herb Rudoy. The 33-year-old shooting guard just needs to pass a physical, which probably won’t happen until next week.

Rudoy said the former Boston University star is thrilled to be coming back to Utah, where his career took off during two seasons with the Jazz between 2003 and 2005. He was a favorite with both the fans and coach Jerry Sloan because of his defense.

“He loved playing for Jerry. He loved living in Salt Lake,’’ Rudoy said. “It was an easy decision for him to come back.’’

Jazz general manager Kevin O’Connor said Bell just needs to pass his physical and show his left wrist has recovered from surgery last year and Utah will gladly welcome back the gritty defender who can motivate his young teammates.

The return of Bell indicates the Jazz won’t be matching Portland’s front-loaded offer for restricted free agent Wesley Matthews, who made Utah’s roster in training camp as an undrafted free agent and was a starter before the end of his rookie season.

Meanwhile, the Jazz aren’t sure if they just picked up a new power forward or center. Al Jefferson can play both positions, which is one of the biggest reasons they made a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves to get him.

Jefferson says he’s excited to join a contender led by point guard Deron Williams. Jefferson hasn’t played for a winning team since he was a rookie with the Celtics (2004-05.)

Carter, Williams to Denver
Anthony Carter signed a one-year league-minimum deal to stay with the Denver Nuggets, who also signed Shelden Williams, who played sparingly for the Celtics last season, averaging 3.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 11 minutes . . . A person with knowledge of the deal says the Houston Rockets have agreed to terms with restricted free agent Luis Scola. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not official. The Houston Chronicle and KRIV-TV reported that Scola agreed to a five-year deal worth $47 million.

Hornets call off deal with Head
The Hornets decided not to sign free agent Luther Head after consulting with the team’s medical staff. Hornets president Hugh Weber said in a statement that after consulting with their medical team they felt it was not in their best interest to sign Head. The statement comes after Head’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, said Wednesday that New Orleans had not offered a reasonable explanation for rescinding a two-year contract offer for the veteran guard . . . First-round draft picks Derrick Favors and Damion James signed with the New Jersey Nets. Favors, the Georgia Tech forward and third pick overall, was the ACC rookie of the year and averaged 12.4 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks in 36 games. James, the 24th pick overall, was acquired in a draft-day deal with Atlanta. The small forward averaged 18.0 points and 10.3 rebounds as a senior with Texas.

Miller signs contract with Heat
Mike Miller signed his five-year contract with Miami, joining LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Miller announced it on Twitter, saying “It’s official’’ and thanking Heat owner Micky Arison and team president Pat Riley.

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