Ahead of the start of NBA free agency, it became clear that the Los Angeles Lakers’ top target outside the organization was Denver Nuggets wing Bruce Brown.
Brown was expected to get a nice contract in free agency after his big contributions during the Nuggets’ playoff run, and the Lakers opened up their full mid-level exception of $12.4 million in order to get in on the sweepstakes.
Despite the Lakers reportedly feeling confident internally that they would be able to land Brown though, it came as no surprise that he had a ton of suitors around the league. With all that interest, Brown was able to earn a big contract with the Indiana Pacers in free agency, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
ESPN reporting with @malikaandrews: Free agent Bruce Brown has agreed on a two-year, $45M deal with the Indiana Pacers, his agents Ty Sullivan and Steven Heumann of @CAASports tell ESPN. Denver — limited in what it could pay — loses a key piece to its repeat hopes.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2023
For a player that made just $6 million with the Nuggets last season, getting a deal worth more than $20 million annually is great for Brown. Unfortunately for the Lakers though, they just were not able to get anywhere close to that number.
L.A. still has its mid-level exception to use though and likely will target other 3-and-D wings that would fill a similar role as Brown. According to recent reports, Rob Pelinka’s former client Eric Gordon could be someone to watch for.
Lakers signing Taurean Prince to one-year contract
Despite missing out on Brown, the Lakers have gotten off to a nice start in free agency as they are reportedly signing former Minnesota Timberwolves wing Taurean Prince to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.
That will likely be the Lakers’ bi-annual exception, so they still have the full mid-level to use on other free agents to improve the roster.
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