All Bell is proving to be is another distraction in a disastrous season for the Lakers.
Bell is currently a member of the Utah Jazz. He possesses an expiring contract, but is making $3.48 million in 2012-13.
Perhaps most notably, Bell is 36 years old.
The speculation surrounding Bell potentially becoming a Laker has been mounting for months. Most recently, current Lakers head coach Mike D'Antoni expressed his intrigue in acquiring Bell (via Yahoo! Sports).
Per Kennedy, Bell is telling those close to him that he will join the Lakers.
For what it's worth, Raja Bell has been telling players and friends around the league that he'll join the Lakers. We'll see if it happens.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 25, 2013
Sources tell Kennedy that the Utah Jazz are unlikely to allow that to transpire.
Several sources believe the Jazz will keep Raja Bell simply so he doesn't sign with the Lakers. Utah and L.A. will compete for playoff spot.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) February 25, 2013
Utah is in direct competition with the Lakers for a postseason berth.
The Lakers are currently 3.5 games behind the Jazz for seventh in the Western Conference playoff picture. For that reason, it is unlikely that Utah would do anything to help L.A. improve.
So why must we continue to harp on this potential acquisition?
With the team having played through a season plagued by injuries and trade rumors, Bell's potential signing has created nothing but another distraction. This is not Bell's fault, but more so the media.
At every twist and turn, analysts and fans alike have proposed the reaction of Kobe Bryant's former rival.
Bell may be able to help the Lakers if he does, in fact, join the team. Until that time comes, however, just one thing is understood.
Without a contract being signed, the talks are just that—talks.