Lakers Rumors: L.A. Smart to Target Veteran Backup for Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is arguably the best the NBA has seen in the past decade, but even 34-year-old superstars could use a breather every now and then.

At 26.9 PPG, Bryant leads the NBA in scoring while shooting 51 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the arc. Still, as Bryant ages, it's hard to imagine that he can sustain shooting the ball for such high percentages for an 82-game season.

But maybe he won't have to.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, the Lakers are seeking depth at the shooting guard position in the form of Mickael Pietrus and Raja Bell.

Add Mickael Pietrus to list of FA guards @lakers inquired about recently,source tells Y! @wojyahoonba reported LAL interest in Raja Bell,too

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) November 24, 2012 Analyzing the Lakers' depth chart and scoring statistics through 14 games this season, it's clear to see Los Angeles needs depth behind Bryant at SG, as backup Jodie Meeks is averaging a mere 4.8 PPG and just 1.4 RPG.

The bigger issue?

Meeks is averaging just 11.9 minutes per game, meaning that Kobe is spending far too much time on the court for an aging superstar.

That said, the idea of adding Pietrus or Bell is more than just a luxury—it's a necessity.

You can argue that the Lakers are 7-7 because of Mike Brown's offense or Steve Nash's injury, but the fact of the matter is that L.A. needs help behind Kobe.

Adding 30-year-old Pietrus would bring postseason experience to the Lakers and a player who already has a relationship with big man Dwight Howard. Pietrus is a career 42 percent shooter, including 35 percent from beyond the arc.

While Bell looks like the better option because of his postseason experience and a relationship with Steve Nash, his age is a problem. The 36-year-old might be a career 46 percent three-point shooter, but if the Lakers are looking for someone ...

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