After all the signals indicated the Lakers were going to sign Bruce Brown with their mid-level exception last offseason, they were forced into an audible. The Pacers’ huge contract offer to Brown was unexpected and certainly more than the Lakers could offer.
As a result, the purple and gold switched focus and signed Gabe Vincent, a move that has not yet worked out due to injuries. However, their eyes haven’t shifted from Brown, who signed a two-year deal with Indiana with a team option for the second season.
And with Brown being traded to the Raptors as part of the Pascal Siakam deal, he appears to be available once again. Before Friday’s game against the Nets, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN discussed the Lakers’ interest in Brown and him being a potential option in the coming weeks leading up to the trade deadline.
woj just hinted at the lakers being extremely interested in bruce brown— Coach Rome (@Rome_Beast) January 20, 2024
he even went as far as to say they tried trading for him while he was a pacer
Because of the $22 million he’s due, trading for him would be a bit tricky. Financially, a deal of swapping him and D’Angelo Russell works and would be absolutely hilarious considering their history. But that deal would leave the roster unbalanced and without a lead ballhandler.
Regardless of who you trade, Brown’s fit on the roster is obvious. He’s a 3-and-D wing who played a huge role in sweeping the Lakers and helping the Nuggets win the title. Putting him alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis feels like an obvious and easy fit.
But the Lakers also aren’t going to be the only team interested in him. And a bidding war does not suit the Lakers with their limited amount of assets. Brown, though, is someone who is going to be in high demand as the Lakers aren’t the only ones who can see the contribution he can make.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.