Reports: Utah Jazz Sign Raja Bell, Wesley Matthews Will Be A Portland Trail Blazer

LOS ANGELES - MAY 2: Wesley Matthews #23 of the Utah Jazz shoots over Jordan Farmar #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game One of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs on May 2, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers won 104-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Marc Stein of ESPN.com tweets...

Just filed to ESPN.com: Raja Bell will not be meeting with Kobe Bryant after all ... because Bell has been snapped up Utah    

Sources say Jazz put hard press on Bell -- who has played for Jerry Sloan before -- and offered three-year deal worth nearly $10 million

Barring a minor miracle... Welcome to Portland Wesley Matthews.

Update: 6:45PM

There will be no minor miracle.

Ross Siler of the Salt Lake City Tribune tweets...

Jazz have notified Wesley Matthews reps they won't match offer and will sign other guard.

That's Raja Bell contingent on physical.

Update: 7:22 PM

I just caught up with Portland Trail Blazers Director of NBA Scouting Mike Born courtside here in Las Vegas. Born urged patience and wouldn't say that anything was official until after physicals are passed and papers are shuffled.  

But Born is clearly excited at the addition of Wesley Matthews to Portland's roster.   While Born didn't want to discuss details of the offer or how the team arrived at the contract's size and length, he did effusively praise Matthews as a person and player. "He was the guy that we had targeted as a free agent, the guy that we wanted to go after," Born said. "We felt like he's the guy who can do a lot of things for us. He has a chance to be a really good defender. You look at how he played in college and how he played this last year in Utah, we think he can be a really good defensive piece."

Born was careful to note that the team does not view Matthews only as a defensive specialist. "Offensively, he's pretty solid there too. He averaged about 9 points during the regular season and then during the playoffs he was about 12.5 or 13 points total over the two series against Denver and the Lakers. I think he's just got a chance to be a piece to help us win a championship and ultimately that's why we decided to get after him."

It's been clear in a number of recent conversations that Portland targeted Matthews in free agency for his combination of skillset, personality and fit. "Ben, he can be great for us," Born said. "We were talking about this before, we do a lot of work on the guys that we're working out for the draft, free agency. We do intel work on those guys -- Andre Miller, Marcus Camby -- he's going to be a terrific fit for us. He's everything we're about. He's a great kid, a great worker, a great teammate.  Really well liked. Obviously for him playing for the two coaches he's played for -- at Marquette and then playing for Coach Sloan -- that says a lot about him as a player and as a person. We think he's got a chance to be a really good player for us and to be a really good fit for our culture. I think people will really like him as a person as well."

Update: 10:57PM

Wesley Matthews give some thoughts to Chris Tomasson of NBA Fanhouse...

"I'm just happy for my family,'' said Matthews, who was raised by his mother, Pam Moore, and mentioned her and members of her family. "They've never had a payday like this before. But I don't play for the money.''

Matthews knows there will be naysayers claiming he's overpaid.

"I guess some people think that I was overpaid if they didn't match,'' Matthews said of the Jazz letting him go. "But I can't listen to that. But I'm going to keep working. That's why I'm going to the gym right now (in Milwaukee, where he played in college and near his home of Madison, Wis.) to work out.''

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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