Many are expecting the Los Angeles Lakers to be aggressive as the trade deadline approaches in looking to acquire some help to turn this disappointing season around. The team has been linked to a number of names, but one player who they have long been trying to bring to L.A. is Bruce Brown Jr.
Of course, Brown was part of the Denver Nuggets team that defeated the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals last year on their way to the NBA Championship. Brown signed a big contract to join the Indiana Pacers this offseason, but was recently dealt to the Toronto Raptors as part of the trade for Pascal Siakam.
In an appearance on ESPN NBA Countdown, insider Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that the Lakers nearly signed Brown this offseason, and have been steadily trying to acquire him via trade ever since, something that has not changed despite him recently being dealt to the Raptors:
“From the time the Lakers lost to Denver, got eliminated in the Conference Finals last year, there’s been one player they’ve been really focused on trying to acquire, Bruce Brown Jr. He was on that Denver team that eliminated them, Denver couldn’t afford to keep him. And in free agency, if Indiana had not stepped up with a two-year, $45 million deal there’s a very good chance Bruce Brown would have gone to the Lakers for their mid-level exception. He took that bigger deal from Indiana, the Lakers continued to try to trade for him with the Pacers. Now he’s in Toronto as part of the [Pascal] Siakam deal, and there’s been no shortage of teams reaching out to Toronto, to try to get Bruce Brown. He fits everywhere, and the Lakers are among them. You look at Toronto, talked to Masai Ujiri today, he watched Bruce Brown essentially get off the plane yesterday, walk out on the court, shoot 7-for-10, get seven rebounds. They’re in a rebuild and they’re gonna go very, very young in Toronto. He does see the value of a 27-year old tough veteran around his young players, but there is a big market for Bruce Brown. Teams like New York are interested. But continue to watch the Lakers for Bruce Brown to see if there’s a pathway. Again he could’ve very well ended up with them in free agency before Indiana stepped up with that $45 million, two-year deal.”
The Lakers’ interest in Brown makes sense as he is a role player who fits everywhere due to his willingness to do the dirty work, and has proven he can come through on the biggest stages. The fact that they nearly had a deal done over the summer, and have struggled this season has apparently only made the desire to bring him in stronger.
The problem for the Lakers is that there seems to be a very strong market for Brown, which will make the price to acquire him even higher. But if he can be a true difference-maker, the Lakers are going to do whatever is needed to make that move.
Lakers have ‘no interest’ in trading Austin Reaves at trade deadline
One player who likely won’t be involved in such a deal for Brown is guard Austin Reaves. As the Lakers explore potential trades, the team reportedly has no desire to get rid of Reaves.
Recent reports state that while Reaves isn’t untouchable like LeBron James or Anthony Davis, he is close and the Lakers have ‘no interest’ in trading him unless it is for an established All-Star or multiple big roster upgrades.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!