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Raja Bell Would Be Solid Addition for L.A. Lakers

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 23:  Guard Raja Bell #19 of the Utah Jazz at American Airlines Center on February 23, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJuly 9, 2012

The Los Angeles Lakers made their major roster shakeup with the addition of Steve Nash, but they still have to fill out the albatross that was their bench last year. Raja Bell would help them do that.

At 35, Bell is obviously slowing down. He played in just 34 games with the Jazz last season and averaged only 23.4 minutes per game. In those minutes, he scored 6.4 points per game, which is his lowest average since the 2002-03 season. 

Still, all of this would look just fine coming off the Lakers' bench, and as Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski points out, it isn't a huge stretch for that to become a reality. 

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

The Lakers need shooting. It is vital to their ability to space the floor to free things up for their big men underneath. They went a long way toward curing this with the addition of Nash, but that still leaves their bench fairly void of long-distance touch. 

Bell's addition isn't just about his shooting prowess. Even at 35, he is still a gritty defender. He isn't going to be able to man up with point guards, but he does a nice job on shooting guards and even some small forwards. 

This would give the Lakers nice lineup flexibility. Obviously, Bell will be there to spell Kobe, but the two could also play together. A lineup of Nash, Bryant, Bell, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum certainly has some potential. They would have three shooters you couldn't leave alone and two of the game's better post scorers. 

They would also have two competent wing-defenders and two bigs to grab all the boards. This would give Bell a great chance to play for a ring as he finishes out his career. L.A. may be able to add him for the veteran's minimum, and that would be a win for all involved. 

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