Lakers Rumors: Raja Bell an Option for the Lakers?
At 36-years-old, Bell believes he still has something left in the tank and will consider his options in free agency.
Reportedly, Bell wants an opportunity to win a title with the next team he signs with.
That being said, there are a short list of teams in which he’s willing to join before next season, with the Los Angeles Lakers near the top according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports via Twitter:
Another possibility for Raja Bell: The Lakers. Kobe Bryant recruited Bell hard a year ago, and still fits as defensive-minded guard w/ Nash.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 8, 2012
With Steve Nash now running the show in the backcourt for the Lakers, Los Angeles will presumably be a much better team offensively. The addition of Nash will pick up the pace and increase the team’s chances of lighting up the scoreboard on a nightly basis.
Unfortunately, the defense may suffer and the bench still needs some upgrading. The signing of Bell, a good friend of Nash, would greatly improve the Lakers defensively and from beyond the arc. Bell may no longer be the player he once was with the Phoenix Suns, but he can definitely help the Lakers off the bench.
The left knee injury Bell suffered last season may be a concern for the Lakers. With the Lakers not getting any younger, GM Mitch Kupchak and company may stay away from adding players with questionable health at an advanced age.
Regardless of the potential health issues, signing Bell at the veteran’s minimum isn’t a bad play for the Lakers as it will improve the bench and give the team another great defender. Bell’s ability to guard multiple positions will definitely be put to use in Los Angeles.
With Kobe Bryant and Bell no longer mortal enemies after heated battles in the NBA playoffs, the five-time champion will most likely reach out to his former nemesis along with Nash to convince him to sign with the Lakers. Nash and Bell are reportedly very close, which may increase the team’s chances of landing the defensive-minded veteran.
Even though Bell has expressed interest in signing with the Lakers, two other teams are also in the running with Boston Celtics and Miami Heat on his short list. The Heat are currently the frontrunners to sign the veteran guard with Bell being a Miami native.
Last season, Bell averaged 6.4 points per game while shooting an impressive 39% from three-point range.