Lakers Rumors: Raja Bell Wouldn't Put Los Angeles over the Top

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 27:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers controls the ball against Raja Bell #19 of the Utah Jazz at Staples Center on December 27, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  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 Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Raja Bell isn't the guy who makes the Lakers worthy of the NBA Finals.

Personnel moves in Los Angeles don't look to be stopping with the departure of Mike Brown and arrival of Mike D'Antoni.

Rumors are swirling about the Los Angeles Lakers making a move for the Utah Jazz guard. Yahoo! basketball expert Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed as much on Twitter, saying:

Y! Sources: With Mike D'Antoni as coach, the Lakers are showing renewed interest in exiled Jazz guard Raja Bell.

The Jazz have informed Bell that his agent can find a suitable move to a different team. Utah will buy out whatever is left on his contract, and he'll sign with his new team for the veteran's minimum.

To a certain extent, it makes sense for Los Angeles. Bell has played under D'Antoni before to much success.

He finished on the NBA All-Defensive First team in 2007 and All-Defensive Second team in 2008. He also provides a threat on the perimeter, something the Lakers also lack.

Making an argument that it's a bad move for Los Angeles is hard to do, but expectations should be tempered a little bit. Trading for Raja Bell doesn't make the Lakers contenders for the NBA title.

This is still a team with problems much greater than a 36-year-old bench player can solve.

The Lakers' bench would still be a mess. They're averaging 13.4 points off the bench for a reason. The unit as a whole is lacking.

Bell's an upgrade over Jodie Meeks, but what does the team do with Antawn Jamison and the glut of below-average point guards? Bell can add some help, but it's not enough.

The Celtics were successful in 2007-08 because management surrounded Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett with solid bench guys like James Posey, Sam Cassell, Kendrick Perkins and Eddie House.

That's where the Lakers are right now, sans deep bench. Adding Steve Nash and Dwight Howard are good moves, but it's going to take time for the team to build the right chemistry in order to be successful in the postseason. Unfortunately for the Lakers, Nash has missed time and Howard doesn't look 100 percent, so it's going to be even longer before Los Angeles is hitting on all cylinders.

Acquiring Bell is step in the right direction, but the Lakers need some more time and a couple more pieces if they're going to contend for the NBA title.