Lakers Trade Rumors: Raja Bell Would Be Another Bad Fit for D'Antoni's System

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IFebruary 19, 2013

January 7, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; Utah Jazz guard Raja Bell (19) rests between plays during the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena. The Jazz defeated the Warriors 88-87. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni is apparently interested in bringing Utah Jazz guard Raja Bell aboard, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Wojnarowski tweeted on Monday:

Mike D'Antoni has remained intrigued with bringing exiled Jazz guard Raja Bell to Lakers, sources say.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 19, 2013

You know, because Bell used to play in D'Antoni's system with the Phoenix Suns, and you know, it worked there. Kind of like with, you know, Steve Nash.


Raja Bell is 36 years old right now. He last played with the Suns during the 2008-09 season. I hate to break it to you, D'Antoni, but he's not the same Raja Bell.

Like Nash, Bell isn't suited for the run-and-gun system anymore. Neither is Kobe Bryant. Neither is Dwight Howard. Neither is most of the Lakers' roster this season. Either D'Antoni is reminiscing about the glory days in Phoenix or he's simply delusional. Neither mindset is exactly healthy.

You don't have to be a Lakers fan to grow frustrated with the way the Lakers are doing business these days—all you have to be is a basketball fan (unless, of course, you have some stake in the Lakers failing).

It's simply maddening for a basketball fan to see what D'Antoni and the Lakers are doing day in and day out. D'Antoni doesn't like a slow-paced, low-post oriented offense, which, of course, is exactly the kind of offense that fits the current Lakers best. He holds on to things that aren't there, or tries to make it work with players who aren't the same players as they were before.

D'Antoni's interest in Bell is just another example of how delusional he has become in Los Angeles. It's one thing to be bullheaded and have a clear direction; it's quite another to be bullheaded and all of a sudden find yourself lost without a compass.

If the Lakers are to succeed under D'Antoni's system, he either needs to at least alter his system or he needs to find younger, more athletic players. Acquiring Bell would be just another step in the wrong direction for this franchise.


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