Mickael Pietrus is a better option for the Lakers than Raja Bell.
Much has been made recently about Los Angeles pursuing the Jazz guard with the arrival of Mike D'Antoni. He coached Bell with the Phoenix Suns, where the player was at his peak and an All-NBA defender.
Bell would be a good option, but the Lakers should be going after Pietrus. As Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported, the team is weighing whether or not to pursue the French swingman as well.
According to Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk, the biggest stumbling block would be the fact that Pietrus would refuse to settle for the league minimum. It's unlikely the team would be able to budge given financial restrictions they're under.
But if the Lakers are given an opportunity to sign Pietrus, they should take it. Both he and Bell would provide defensive help on the wings and a mid-to-long-range option offensively, so this isn't to say that Bell is a terrible choice.
Bell is a good outside shooter, but he's probably only slightly better. Pietrus has averaged 36 percent from three-point range over his career, compared to Bell's 41 percent. They're both very good perimeter defenders as well.
Pietrus does have a distinct advantage in one category—age. The 30-year-old Frenchman is six years younger than Bell. With a team like the Lakers, you can only rely on so many veterans before it becomes one too many.
Neither of these two are optimal choices. They're unlikely to make the Lakers the best team in the Western Conference.
Los Angeles is hamstrung in who it can go after at this point. Unless the Lakers can offload Pau Gasol, they're not going to get a big name to come in and inject a ton of production from the bench.
Clearly, though, personnel changes need to be made, because what the Lakers have now isn't working. The Steve Nash injury doesn't help matters, but the problems go deeper than that.
Pietrus isn't a great long-term option, but he is a proper stopgap.
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