NBA Free Agents 2012: Cheap Veterans Los Angeles Lakers Must Consider

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NBA Free Agents 2012: Cheap Veterans Los Angeles Lakers Must Consider
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers already have one of the best starting lineups in the NBA, but they still need to add some solid bench players to complete their lineup. 

After all, Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum can't get the job done by themselves. 

Los Angeles doesn't have much money left to spend and is limited to just about the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million and the mini mid-level exception of $3.09 million. That limits the options significantly. 

As much as the team would like to add a youthful player full of athleticism, a lack of years doesn't exactly correlate with a lack of funds. Veterans are the best way to go when the funds are tight. 

Here are four cheap veterans that the Lakers brass should consider handing a contract. 

 

Raja Bell

Despite the feuds that he's had with Kobe Bryant in the past, Raja Bell would be able to help keep the unquestioned leader of the Los Angeles Lakers looking young and spry. 

Bell would be able to come off the bench as a shooting guard and provide a nice defensive presence while hitting three-pointers on the other end of the court. Plus, he's already got great chemistry with Steve Nash and the two friends could be comfort blankets for each other. 

The veteran isn't the player he once was, but he's not as washed up as he seemed with the Utah Jazz last year either. 


Grant Hill

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Now we move on to another long-time teammate and friend of Steve Nash: Grant Hill. 

This veteran small forward wouldn't be capable of taking over the starting small forward role, but he'd be efficient and useful in a 20-minutes-per-game role off the bench. Hill's knees are still serviceable and allow him to look much more athletic than a nearly 40-year-old should be. 

Hill isn't going to look like his former self for long spurts, but even a few sparks would be nice as he adds another mature, veteran presence to the squad. 


Tracy McGrady

Continuing with the trend of former superstars who are now on the wrong end of 30, Tracy McGrady is still athletic enough to make an impact for the title-contending Los Angeles Lakers. 

He was fairly effective for the Atlanta Hawks, posting a Player Efficiency Rating of 13.69 while averaging 16.1 minutes per game. There were a few games in which you could see shades of his old self, particularly early on in the season. 

In a similar role on a contender like the Lakers, McGrady could provide some brief sparks of excellence. With as many options as the Lakers already have, that's really all they need. 


Jamario Moon

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The youngest of the four players listed in this article, Jamario Moon is a relatively youthful 32-year-old with only five years of NBA experience, so his body should be able to hold up quite well. 

Moon was awful in his eight games for the Charlotte Bobcats last year, but he wasn't given many opportunities to succeed. The small forward played only 15.4 minutes per contest. 

The 6'6" wing player is a solid defender and a ridiculous athlete who would essentially fill the role that Shannon Brown filled in the past. L.A. needs someone in purple and gold who can jump out of the Staples Center and that player is currently nowhere to be found.  

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