February 4, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant (24) is defended by Utah Jazz shooting guard Raja Bell (19) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz defeated the Lakers 96-87. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Are The Los Angeles Lakers Interested In Adding Raja Bell?


Despite not having made a move before the NBA Trade Deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers are still interested in possibly bringing in a piece or two to help the team compete for that eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

According to reports by Alex Kennedy of HOOPSWORLD, help may come in the form of current Utah Jazz guard Raja Bell.

With Utah (31-26, seventh place) and Los Angeles (28-30, ninth place) both fighting to make the playoffs, Kennedy believes that that the Jazz will simply hold on to Bell just to keep him away from the Lakers.

Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni recently expressed interest in the team possibly acquiring Bell.

Bell hasn’t played a game for Utah all year, as he attempts to resolve his current contract situation with the team. He’s making $3.48 million in 2012-13, but his contract expires at the end of the season.

In 34 appearances last year for the Jazz, Raja averaged 6.4 points and 1.4 rebounds, while shooting 46% from the field and 39% from behind-the-arc.

Of course, none of this can come into fruition unless Utah buys his contract out. Until then, it’s all hearsay.

As brought up by Kennedy, the Jazz have no reason to let go of Raja Bell, if it means he would eventually sign on to play for Los Angeles. Whether he could help the Lakers or not (he’s 36-years old), why on Earth would they willingly give up an asset to an opposing team that is right there in the thick of things scratching and crawling for the seventh or eighth seed in the West?

At the very least, it would be interesting to see what kind of relationship Bell and Kobe Bryant could have at this stage of their careers, especially considering their heated wars in years past.

Chris Walder is the Editor of Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter at @WalderSports

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Tags: Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers Raja Bell Trade Rumors Utah Jazz