When Steve Nash was brought in during the Summer the Los Angeles Lakers suddenly became a "free agent" circus. Grant Hill, Raja Bell (though still under contract with the Utah Jazz), and a handful of other players were linked to the purple and gold. In the end, having to absorb contracts in the Dwight Howard trade (hello to you, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark), and the additions of Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks wound up being the moves for the Lakers, while also managing to retain energetic sixth man Jordan Hill. However, now that Mike D'Antoni is the head coach of the Lakers, here we go again. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are once again linked to Raja Bell.
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.
Bell, 36, has had strong advocates with general manager Mitch Kupchak and Kobe Bryant since the summer, but D'Antoni's history coaching Bell with the Phoenix Suns has amplified discussion of signing the veteran guard should the Lakers create an opening on their roster. - Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports
Just what the Lakers need, another 30+ year old wing man! The catch, however, is that all those years in Phoenix with Steve Nash and Mike D'Antoni turned Raja Bell into a sharpshooter from beyond the arc. Take a look at this...
Those type of shooting numbers are even greater than most expected from Jodie Meeks. However, with Steve Nash not having an opportunity to work with the Lakers on the court, it remains to be seen if Meeks can crank his outside shooting up to that 40% range. The other catch is that Raja Bell is still under contract with the Utah Jazz, as both sides have been unable to come to an agreement in a buyout scenario.
Bell is still under contract with the Jazz, but the team has allowed him to stay away this season until he finds a suitable offer and the two sides can execute a buyout. Once Bell has secured a contract for the veteran's minimum elsewhere, the Jazz will buy out the difference on the remaining $3.5 million on his 2012-13 contract. Bell wouldn't lose any money between the buyout and joining a new team.- Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo! Sports
Updates as they come.