Let's take a trip back to the summer of 2023. The Lakers were aiming to sign Bruce Brown Jr. with their mid-level exception until the Indiana Pacers gave him an offer he couldn't refuse and the Lakers couldn't match with a two-year, $45 million deal.
The Lakers had to move on and signed Gabe Vincent with their mid-level, but it looks like there's still a chance for the guard who got away to come to Los Angeles this season.
He was recently traded to the Toronto Raptors in a three-team deal for Bruce Brown, Jordan Nwora, and three first-round picks.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are still interested in Brown and will 'continue to be on the phone' seeing if a deal with the Raptors player is possible as president and vice chairman Masa Ujiri appears willing to make more moves during this trade window.
.@wojespn on the Lakers’ trade deadline plans:— Evan Sidery (@esidery) January 22, 2024
- Los Angeles covets Bruce Brown. They tried to sign Brown in free agency, then called the Pacers about trading for him before being included in the Pascal Siakam blockbuster.
- Los Angeles will “continue to be on the phone” with… pic.twitter.com/IrcYRuGLRB
Lakers fans might remember Brown from his run in the playoffs last season. He was red-hot against the Lakers, shooting 52% from the field and helping Denver sweep Los Angeles in the Western Conference Finals.
Brown might not be the offensive weapon Zach LaVine is, but he doesn't come with such a hefty salary and years on his contract either and with LaVine being considered a 'zero percent chance' of happening, Los Angeles has to explore other trade options.
Brown fits the type of wing the Lakers desire: good on defense and can shoot at least at leverage average from deep. This move wouldn't be a blockbuster trade, but it could help turn around the Lakers' season like last season's role players Rui Hachimura and Taurea Prince did.
The question is, what will you have to give up to acquire Brown?
It's likely a deal that involves D'Angelo Russell and given how well he's been playing for L.A. in January, averaging 22.4 points per game and being the team’s starter once again, the Lakers will have to weigh if such a deal is actually an improvement or just a lateral move.
You can follow Edwin on Twitter at @ECreates88.