Well, that one was probably the most predictable of the series. With career lows in numbers, sporting just an 8.2 PER(previous low 10.5) and $6 million plus still left on his deal, Raja Bell was the odds on favorite to get cut first in this year's Who Gets Cut?
As others pointed out in round 1, everyone had high hopes for Bell in his return to the Jazz. Sure, he was up there in age but he would provide a veteran leadership, tough defense, and knock down some threes for us. He would be far from the top option on the floor. We don't know anything really about how he was in the locker room, but this was never an issue. By most metrics his defense didn't come close to what it had been before and his his three-point shooting never materialized.
Fairly or not, most fans turned against Bell. A lot of that had to do with the fact that the team started struggling after a hot start. Had the team not fallen to where it did, Bell's performance would have been overlooked as it was to start the season. It wasn't that he slacked off or stopped trying. He worked hard when he was on the court. His shot just wasn't falling and he was a step behind sometimes on defense.
The problem is that the Jazz had one of the top -- and at times the top -- units in the league when Bell was replaced with CJ Miles. What's odd is that when Bell and Miles were on the floor together, they also did well. When Raja played with the second unit, the team also did well. So why was Miles never substituted for Bell permanently? I'm not going to pretend to know how to coach at the NBA level but the numbers were significant and suggested that there should have been a swap.
Now that everything has unfolded as it has, Bell no longer appears to be part of the long-term plans of the team as they build around youth. He would still be a valuable mentor but is he going to take minutes from Gordon Hayward, CJ Miles, and Alec Burks? It could also be that another year removed from surgery could result in a bounce back from his down season. However, he's also another year closer to the end of his career and he may not get better.
So Raja Bell gets the first whack of the series. Who's next?
11. Raja Bell