Utah Jazz: 5 best free agent signings in franchise history

Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Carlos Boozer, Utah Jazz (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Utah Jazz
Raja Bell of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

Young NBA fans may know Bell primarily for his podcast work at The Ringer. Without question, Bell is an insightful and engaging NBA analyst, but he also had a productive NBA career worth remembering.

It’s obvious that Bell didn’t mind playing for the Utah Jazz, as he actually signed with the franchise on two different occasions, in 2003-04 and to finish out his playing career in 2010-11. In this article, we’ll be covering his first, more fruitful stint as a Jazzman.

His best statistical season in Utah came in 2004-05, when he averaged 12.3 points per game, shooting a highly efficient 40.3% on 2.1 three-point attempts per game. Like so many three-point snipers from his generation, Bell would have made for a great fit in the modern NBA, as he could easily have tripled that volume of three-point attempts in a modern offense.

Bell was also a somewhat confusing NBA player in the sense that advanced metrics did not reflect his reputation on the defensive end. He had a career Defensive Rating of 112, and a career Defensive Box Plus/Minus (DBPM) of -0.4. Neither of those are atrocious marks, but they certainly don’t bely a player with Bell’s reputation.

Defensive impact is notoriously difficult to capture. Often enough, the stats reflect what we expect of them, but it simply isn’t always the case. We can safely assume that Bell was the pesky defensive presence his reputation suggests. Couple that impact with his consistent three-point accuracy, and you’ve got one of the best free agent signings in Utah Jazz history.