Lakers Say Goodbye to Controversial Veteran in Projected Trade

The Los Angeles Lakers finally move on from their most polarizing trade asset in a mock Bleacher Report proposal.
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers fans have turned all their attention to the trade market after missing out on their top targets in free agency. Even though free agency is still technically continuing, the options are dwindling and the Lakers have limited financial resources. That is why their best hope of improving their roster for next season is via trades.

Zach Buckley of The Bleacher Report came up with a mock trade proposal that could potentially make the Lakers better for the 2024-25 season. In this deal, Los Angeles trades D'Angelo Russell and 2023 first-round pick Jalen Hood-Schifino to Toronto in exchange for Bruce Brown.

Lakers receive: Bruce Brown
Raptors receive: D'Angelo Russell, Jalen Hood-Schifino, 2025 second-round pick

Brown was traded to the Toronto Raptors at the deadline in the deal that sent Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers. Toronto recently picked up Brown's $23 million team option for next season, making him an ideal trade asset.

Even though he had a down season compared to his 2022-23 season, Brown is still a better fit than Russell in Los Angeles. He can defend multiple positions and plays much bigger than his 6'4 frame indicates. He is an active defender who forces a lot of turnovers and likes to get out in transition. He would provide the Lakers with much-needed defensive intensity, pace, and two-way ability.

Brown's jump shot is inconsistent but makes enough of them to keep defenses honest. He was a huge part of the Nuggets' championship run in 2023 when he averaged 26.5 minutes per game in the postseason.

This is not the splashy trade Lakers fans are probably hoping for. Unfortunately, Russell doesn't have much of a market right now. He wouldn't have opted into his player option if he did. So, it may be a pipe dream for the Lakers to bring in a player much better than Brown in exchange for Russell. Considering how much more balanced of a team this trade makes the Lakers, it is worth exploring.

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