“If the Toronto Raptors decide to move on from Bruce Brown Jr., the Lakers will have interest in acquiring him, according to team sources,” Jovan Buha wrote. “The Lakers coveted Brown last summer and believed they were the favorites to sign him using the team’s nontaxpayer midlevel exception before Indiana swooped in with a cap-space offer. (Los Angeles eventually signed [Gabe] Vincent with that exception.) Much like he was last summer, Brown will become one of the most coveted players on the trade market if he’s available. Of note: Because Brown was already traded from Indiana to Toronto in the [Pascal] Siakam deal, he cannot be combined with another player in a potential trade.
“Other names that have come up in talks with team and league personnel over the past two weeks include Portland’s Jerami Grant, Charlotte’s Terry Rozier, Toronto’s Gary Trent Jr. and Brooklyn’s Dorian Finney-Smith and Royce O’Neale. Each player fills at least one of the Lakers’ three needs.”
Rozier is arguably having a career year in his fifth season with the Hornets. He is averaging a whopping 24.0 points per game so far in the 2023-24 regular season and is also scoring the ball with impressive efficiency, considering he is shooting 46.1 percent from the floor and 38.3 percent from deep.
On top of his gaudy scoring numbers, the guard has also served as an effective playmaker for the Hornets. He is averaging 6.7 assists per game, which is the second-highest average on the team behind only LaMelo Ball.
But for as great as Rozier has performed this season, it’s worth noting that he has suited up in just 27 of the Hornets’ 38 regular-season games.
Grant is also putting up big scoring numbers with a subpar team in the Trail Blazers. In 35 appearances with the team, he is averaging 21.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game while shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from 3-point range.
The forward recently had one of his best scoring performances of the season in Portland’s matchup against the Brooklyn Nets on Jan. 17. Grant scored 30 points while shooting 14-of-26 from the field to go along with eight rebounds and one assist across 36 minutes of action. Thanks in part to Grant’s production on the offensive end of the floor, the Trail Blazers beat the Nets by two points.
Outside of Grant and Rozier, Finney-Smith is another name mentioned by Buha who would be a good fit for the Lakers, at least on paper. Firstly, the 30-year-old is an effective 3-point shooter, as he’s shooting 40.1 percent from 3-point range on 5.5 attempts per game this season. Additionally, he is one of the better wing defenders in the NBA at 6-foot-7.
With any luck, at least one of the six players that the Lakers are allegedly eyeing will be dealt to the team prior to the Feb. 8 NBA trade deadline.