Lakers Rumors: Team Reportedly Interested in Raja Bell
The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off an unexpected and disappointing loss to the division rival Sacramento Kings. The Lakers appear to be on the right track with Mike D’Antoni at the helm, but clearly have issues in a few different areas.
With the Lakers’ front office going all-in on contending for a championship this year, a few moves may be made to help this squad reach its potential.
Although the team has been relatively quiet in terms of courting free agents or entertaining trade ideas as of late, a new player has emerged as a potential target for the Lakers in the form of veteran guard Raja Bell according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
With the hiring of Mike D’Antoni as coach, the Los Angeles Lakers are showing a renewed interest in acquiring exiled Utah Jazz guard Raja Bell, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
This isn’t the first time Bell has been linked with the Lakers as they courted the veteran guard before he signed with the Utah Jazz back in 2010. Even Kobe Bryant, rival of Bell’s, reached out to the veteran in an attempt to lure him to Los Angeles, but wasn’t able to convince him to sign with the Lakers over the Jazz.
With the Lakers facing a huge luxury tax, the moves have been limited by the team since bringing in Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks over the summer. Every move from here on out, big or small, is costly for the Lakers’ front office.
That being said, bringing in the 36-year-old Bell seems to be a stretch, but D’Antoni may be urging the team to make the move to help bolster the bench, defense and outside shooting.
The Lakers have reportedly been trying to trade Steve Blake and Chris Duhon over the past few weeks without any success. The move to trade one or both of these backcourt is an attempt to cut salary and possibly open up another roster spot that may be used to sign Bell.
Although Bell is still under contract with the Jazz, the veteran guard hasn’t been able to secure a buyout with the team and will be able to walk away once agreeing to a deal for the veteran’s minimum elsewhere. If Bell signs with the Lakers or with another team, the Jazz will pay the difference of $3.5 million remaining on his deal.