Amid a rash of injuries to the roster in the middle of the 2022-23 season, the Los Angeles Lakers brought in Sterling Brown to help shore up the end of their bench.
Brown, the younger brother of former Laker Shannon Brown, was a familiar face for head coach Darvin Ham as the two spent time together with the Milwaukee Bucks. At 6-foot-5, Brown was a flier on the wing for Los Angeles who was struggling at the time to put together lineups with size and defensive versatility.
The 28-year-old up to that point had appeared in 264 NBA games across five seasons and three different teams (Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Bucks). Brown eventually wound up with the Toronto Raptors’ G League affiliate the Raptors 905 where he made four starts averaging 11.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks
However, the former second round pick failed to make an impact with the Lakers as he only appeared in four games during his 10-day contract. Brown went scoreless in each game, appearing only in spurts for the majority of them. Shortly after his contract with Los Angeles ended, Brown found himself back with the 905.
It was a lackluster end to Brown’s short tenure with the purple and gold as he never really got a chance to establish what he could do and he’ll go down as a footnote during the team’s season.
Brown failed to score in four appearances for the Lakers, though he did receive extended run in their January game against the Denver Nuggets. Lacking much depth on the perimeter, Brown played over 17 minutes in the contest and recorded seven rebounds, one assists and three steals.
While he missed all three of his field goal attempts, his ability to crash the glass and scrap underneath was a welcomed sight for the Lakers. The three steals were also indicative of his quick hands and anticipation when guarding players.
Los Angeles would lose to Denver 122-109, but it was good to see Brown contribute in some capacity.
Brown will enter the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, though it’s more than likely that he goes unsigned through the summer. Instead, his best path towards an NBA roster may be to play in the upcoming Summer League and hope for a training camp invite.
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