The Los Angeles Lakers may end up without NBA champion 6th Man Bruce Brown after this trade deadline.
They are not willing to give up their biggest trade chip for Brown, who they coveted in free agency after he tormented them in the Western Conference Finals last season.
“The Lakers have the future first-round pick Toronto desires for Brown but is hesitant to part with it because Brown is not viewed as the final piece to a championship Lakers puzzle, though he’d make the team better,” Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto reported on the morning of the February 8 trade deadline.
Action Network’s Matt Moore reported on February 3 that the Lakers have temporarily moved away from the Brown trade talks. It appears they are not going back.
One team met the Raptors’ asking price of a first-round pick for Brown. However, the New York Knicks offered a 2024 first-round pick, per Sportsnet Canada Michael Grange. The Raptors prefer a selection beyond this June’s NBA Draft.
Lakers Likely to Keep D’Angelo Russell
Barring a change of heart from the Atlanta Hawks, the Lakers are likely to keep the resurgent D’Angelo Russell.
The Lakers have won 8 of their last 12 games with Russell playing the best stretch of his NBA career.
The 27-year-old Russell waived his no-trade clause when he signed the $36 million, two-year deal last summer, making him the perfect trade candidate for a potential Lakers’ roster upgrade.
“I just thought it made sense [to waive veto power],” Russell said. “Obviously, I’ve been here before. I played for the Lakers before, so I know what the requirements are to be successful here.”
Russell has been meeting those requirements since his return to the starting lineup on January 13. Russell averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 assists and 2.6 rebounds on 47/47/89 shooting split over his last 13 games.
Murray just shrugged off the trade rumors as he continued his resurgence in Charlotte.
“I don’t care at all. Show up to work,” Russell told reporters after pacing the Lakers with 28 points and 6 assists against the Hornets. “I can’t control that my contract makes sense to be traded either. So, I mean, just play. Can’t control that. Once again, I don’t care at all.”
And the Lakers did not see anything in the trade market for Russell, according to Los Angeles Times’ Dan Woike.
“… it became increasingly clear that his value to the Lakers would be greater than his value on the trade market,” Woike wrote on February 8.
LeBron James Focused on Who’s in the Team
The Lakers superstar LeBron James dodged the trade deadline questions thrown at him following their most successful stretch their In-Season Tournament title run.
“It’s not a question for me,” James told reporters. “I love who we have in the locker room. And that’s all I worry about. I don’t get caught up in that [trade rumors].”
The Lakers are on a 3-game winning streak which included victories over quality opponents – Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. They are 10-6 in their last 16 games, a promising turnaround that could embolden the Lakers front office to stand pat at the trade deadline.
“This is who we have, so there’s nothing else to talk about,” James told reporters when asked if they should continue investing in their current roster.
Alder Almo is a basketball journalist covering the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State Warriors for Heavy. He has more than 15 years of experience in local and international media, including broadcast, print and digital. He previously covered the Knicks for Empire Sports Media and the NBA for Off the Glass. Alder is from the Philippines and is now based in Jersey City, New Jersey. More about Alder Almo