As of now, the Lakers' reserve unit doesn't look fit to help them win a title, and that's where Mickael Pietrus and Raja Bell come in. According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears via Twitter, the Lakers have interest in both veteran wing players:
With the Lakers most likely to add one and not the other, let's take a look at what each veteran shooting guard would bring to the 2012-13 Los Angeles Lakers.
What Mickael Pietrus Would Bring to L.A.
Regular Season Career Averages: 8.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.8 APG, 42.7 FG%, 35.7 3PT%, 66.5 FT%
In acquiring free-agent shooting guard Mickael Pietrus, the Lakers would be getting a 6'6" perimeter player who excels at playing individual defense and spotting up behind the three-point line. Although if L.A. is strictly searching for an accurate outside shooter, it is better off pursuing Bell.
At age 30, Pietrus brings tremendous athleticism and quickness on the defensive end. He has great hands and can hold on his against bigger offensive players.
Pietrus is the prototypical role player willing to do the things star players often won't. His postseason with the Boston Celtics last spring don't necessarily stand out, but it was his defense and the hustle plays he often made that helped key Boston's bench and lead the Celtics within a game of the NBA Finals.
Pietrus has a lot to offer a contender like L.A. He won't hit every open shot in transition, but he'll make the plays on the defensive end that can change the course of a game and help the Lakers get a key stop in a big moment.
What Raja Bell Would Bring to L.A.
Regular Season Career Averages: 9.9 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, 43.4 FG%, 40.6 3PT%, 79.9 FT%
Bell would be a riskier direction to take than Pietrus because of his age. At age 36, Bell brings plenty of NBA experience to the table, but also a declining game. The Lakers would also have to find a way to bring Bell over from his current team, the Utah Jazz.
The plus side though is that Bell, like Pietrus is a magnificent defender and outside shooter, something the Lakers could use off the bench this season and especially come playoff time.
In addition to an intense style of play, Bell is a 40.6 percent three-point shooter for his NBA career, and hit at a 39 percent clip last season with the Utah Jazz.
However, a huge factor in Bell's potential success with the Lakers is Steve Nash. Bell played his best basketball alongside Nash in Phoenix from 2005 to 2008. Bell made more than 42 percent of his three-pointers in nearly three and-a-half seasons with the Suns.
Defensively, Bell set the tone for Phoenix with tons of energy and a willingness to strap up the opposing team's best player.
In Bell, the Lakers would be getting a phenomenal outside shooter who can defend well one-on-one on the perimeter. On the other hand, Pietrus would give L.A. a younger defender to utilize in halfcourt scenarios, as well as a wing player capable of knocking down outside shots off the bench.
It's hard for the Lakers to go wrong with either player, but if you ask me, Pietrus has more to offer a high-scoring team in need of quality defense off the bench like the Lakers.
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