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It doesn’t seem like Bruce Brown will be a member of the Los Angeles Lakers by Thursday’s trade deadline.
Matt Moore of Action Network reported the Purple and Gold have “at least temporarily moved away from talks for” the Toronto Raptors guard ahead of the February 8 deadline.
Brown has already been traded once this season, as he came to Toronto as part of the trade that moved Pascal Siakam to the Indiana Pacers.
The Lakers figure to be one of the most interesting teams to monitor ahead of the deadline, as they are presumably in win-now mode with LeBron James and Anthony Davis but are also just 25-25 and in ninth place in the Western Conference standings.
They are three-and-a-half games behind the sixth-seeded Phoenix Suns, which is the distance they need to make up if they want to avoid the play-in tournament.
It will likely take at least one notable trade for Los Angeles to close the gap on some of the other Western Conference contenders, but the front office will have to decide if it is worth moving future assets to temporarily improve a team that might not have a championship ceiling even with an addition or two.
Who the Lakers would trade is also a question, as NBA insider Marc Stein reported “D’Angelo Russell’s strong play has also moved him further away from being included in talks,” while Moore noted discussions with the Atlanta Hawks regarding Dejounte Murray “reached an impasse recently with the Hawks holding the line at Austin Reaves and the Lakers continuing to refuse his inclusion.”
Perhaps Los Angeles will eventually circle back to Brown.
He is the type of do-everything role player who could thrive alongside stars such as James and Davis, much like he did last season next to Nikola Jokić when he helped lead the Denver Nuggets to a championship.
He also might not cost as much as someone like Murray in a potential deal.
For now, though, the Lakers are seemingly shying away from a more aggressive pursuit of Brown.