If the Los Angeles Lakers would make a move for Bruce Brown, would he be able to help solve the team's early-season inconsistencies?
Even though the NBA All-Star Break is still a few weeks away, we've already reached the midway point of the regular season. Most teams, if not all of them, have played 41 regular season games so far. That should give us a strong sample size of what every team is and what every team isn't. Generally speaking, we should have a good grasp on which teams are going to emerge as legit contenders and which aren't.
When it comes to the Los Angeles Lakers, the verdict may still be out. Halfway through the regular season games, the Lakers find themselves with a 21-22 record, clinging on to the final Play-In Tournament spot in the Western Conference. If the season ended as the standings are today, the best the Lakers could do is win their way into the postseason and then enter as the 8th seed.
This is not a place that the Lakers thought they'd be at this point in the season, especially after making a run to the Western Conference Finals last year. But the good news for the Lakers is that they have one potential saving grace: the NBA Trade Deadline.
A big move at the NBA Trade Deadline last year pretty much saved their entire season and catapulted them to a deep playoff run. The Lakers are going to need something similar to happen this season if it's not going to end as a huge disappointment.
While the Lakers have been linked to the likes of Zach LaVine, Dejounte Murray, Terry Rozier, and others, it's hard to pinpoint one player that will drastically alter the direction of the team. However, of late, there is one other name that has become a hot trade deadline candidate. One that has also already been linked to the Lakers - Bruce Brown.
Could Bruce Brown be the answer the Los Angeles Lakers are looking for?
The question is, would Brown be exactly what the Lakers need to jump-start them into the push toward the playoffs?
That's a difficult question to answer definitely. On one hand, Brown does offer a lot of what the team could use - he'd be an answer to the team's need for another defending wing, he is a player who embraces the intangibles and would be an ideal supporting difference-maker next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Brown doesn't need the ball in his hands to be effective and finds ways to impact the game in a positive light.
Brown played a vital role in the Denver Nuggets winning last year's championship and the team has clearly missed his presence this season.
My ultimate concern is that I'm not sure Brown is the playmaker or offensive juggernaut that would be the ultimate answer that Los Angeles needs. Sure, he checks the boxes on the defensive end. That's for sure. But for as good as he can be on the offensive end of the floor, he may not be a player that takes the pressure off of LeBron and AD as the Lakers need.
The Lakers have one of the worst and most inconsistent offenses in the league right now. It wouldn't be fair for the addition of Brown to entirely fix that.
At the same time, because of the beauty of his contract, he still might be worth the risk for the Lakers. Brown is a winning player and that's been proven. He's essentially in the final year of his contract and has a team option for next season. If Los Angeles wanted, they could opt out and clear the deck during the offseason. They could also opt into that contract and use it to make a bigger trade during the offseason.
Making a move for Brown isn't as big as a risk as it might be trading for LaVine or Murray. And, ultimately, that may be the difference for the Lakers.