Wednesday , Aug , 03 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Phoenix signs Raja Bell

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – The Phoenix Suns announced Wednesday that they
have agreed to terms with free agent guard Raja Bell.

As per team policy terms of the deal were not released, but The Arizona
Republic reported earlier in the summer that the contract would be for five
years and worth almost $5 million per season.

The 28-year-old Bell, who had spent the past two seasons with Utah, will
likely be used off the bench with the Suns.

“The Suns sold me on the fact I could come in and make a contribution to a
team looking to win a championship,” said Bell. “Nobody can guarantee you
anything, but the fact there was an opportunity to play was really big.”

Last year, Bell averaged a career-high 12.2 points and grabbed 3.2
rebounds while playing in 63 games. In his five-year career, which also
includes stints with Philadelphia and Dallas, Bell has posted 7.3 points and
2.3 boards per outing.

Bell will also be reunited with current league MVP Steve Nash after the two
played together with the Mavericks in 2002-03.

“It’s awesome,” said Bell. “I’m so excited to get the chance to play with
Steve again. He was one of the guys in Dallas when I was a young player and
his tutelage was huge for me. So to get the chance to come and play for him
was one of the major reasons I wanted to come to Phoenix.

Bell, who specializes on defense, especially on the perimeter, was needed
after the team traded swingman Quentin Richardson to the Knicks earlier in the
offseason.

“Defensively, he’s an absolutely tough defender who can lock down some of the
NBA’s top offensive players,” said team president and general manager Bryan
Colangelo.

PHO