Lakers Open Space For Full Midlevel Exception, Target Bruce Brown/others, as NBA Free Agency Begins

Locked On Lakers
Wednesday, speculation that the Lakers had their eye on a full midlevel exception worth over $12 million a season, rather than the smaller taxpayer version (a little over $5) began to ramp up. And with decisions to make on Malik Beasley and Mo Bamba, we’d all learn pretty quickly what direction the Lakers would be taking.

Thursday, we got our answers. The Lakers declined a team option on Beasley, then released Bamba (along with Shaq Harrison) to give themselves a chance to use that larger exception. The big target? Likely Denver’s Bruce Brown, and Thursday The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reported the Lakers feel like they have a good shot at signing the versatile, hard-nosed guard.

Granted, they’ll have a lot of competition, because basically every team in the league would love to have him.

So should fans print their Brown jerseys? Is Milwaukee center Brook Lopez, mentioned as another player the Lakers would want, even a small possibility? Because he’d be a perfect fit next to Anthony Davis. But if it’s not those guys, who else would be worth that kind of money? Did the Lakers take a big risk in letting someone like Bamba, who definitely fills a potential need at backup C that the Lakers will need to fill (and the market is slim, to say the least)? Does it make sense to chop up that big exception into smaller parts? How many dudes could the Lakers bring in, if the market breaks their way?

The whole thing begins at 3 pm Pacific time. That’s when teams can start signing players, and things tend to get wild and wooly very, very fast. The Lakers might not be at the front of the line, and someone like Brown (reportedly set to visit the Mavericks, among other teams) will likely take his time.

Stay tuned!

HOSTS: Andy and Brian Kamenetzky

SEGMENT 1: The Lakers make moves to open up the use of a full midlevel exception.

SEGMENT 2: If not Bruce Brown, then who?

SEGMENT 3: More names the Lakers could target with all of, or part of, their newfound access to contract options.

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  1. Lakers are not signing Bruce Brown. He ain't leavin' Denver. Stop it!

  2. Clock out early? Shit…my workday begins at 3!

  3. Should of kept Beasley, coach darvin scam didn't know how to coach

  4. Taurean prince is an option too for a portion of the full mle

  5. I'm just stoked because there's no more Turner trade machine proposals.

  6. Please guys…Gordon is washed.. he is a minimum now…p.s. are you meaning that the Lakers are going to sign Brown as a sixth man?!… This has no sense…this is fake rumors spread by Pelinka.. no sense at all..and JB is responsible for this fake news spreading around..Total nonsense..

  7. I think Lakers can offer a starting job to Bruce Brown…he's definitely a Ham kinda guy. .that means bye bye Dlo.
    Obviously Lopez will be huge ….perfect fit

  8. Dont really need Bruce Brown…need a big. Stop giving Darvin Scam an excuse to kerp playing small ball. This front office likes to gamble a lot…I'm not sure about this gamble tho

  9. All you are doing is helping agents spin their BS to cause talk about their players… nothing informative here.

  10. cam reddish on a vet minium since they have been trying to get him for 2 to 3 years

  11. Lakers must add more 3&D players in the SF, PG, PF, & center positions. Lakers should go after Brook Lopez as he's a defensive-minded stretch 5. Bruce Brown, Jalen McDaniels, Torey Craig, Trey Lyles, etc. would be good fits too.

  12. If we get Brown do you think we can stop Jokic Offense.. ITS A BIG NO!! Lakers dont need him, We need Experience Veteran Center that can defend Jokic & AD should improve his game thats it! We need a PG like Vanvleet which is a Shot Creator that can shoot threes and knows how to defend.. And get a 2 Centers that can help AD Maybe Jacob Poeltl & Tristan Thompson both of them can do dirty work & damage Jokic game..

    Take Note: Brook Lopez is 35 yrs old, yes he has a height advantage but he is to slow as of now for Jokic..

  13. With the Limited Center option available in the market right now.. The lakers best choice is Jacob Poeltl & Brook Lopez..Resign Thompson will be a huge help also..

    I hope Rob Pelinka Do a great job in this coming free agency and secure the best lineup possible for upcoming season..

  14. Thanks Andy for sharing a realistic list of free agents for the Lakers!

  15. Brook Lopez is the guy they need to get first and take it from there.

  16. Bruce Brown makes sense because he's a young two-way player. Lopez is great because he solves your front-line problem and takes the load off Davis. The rest of these guys are a waste of time.

  17. We have to focus on filling needs based upon needs.
    It’s clear that Rob has stated about bringing the young core back. And with a developmental coaching staff, we will be working with the plethora of young guards we have: recently selections, current our free agents.
    Please, no more discussions on older veterans that are injury prone.
    Let’s talk centers.

  18. Lakers need to put all their MLE eggs into the BLopez basket. That dude would transform this team–elite D, can anchor the team in non-AD lineups, play on the perimeter alongisde AD and Bron, etc… Bruce Brown would be nice but you can somewhat approximate his contributions with similar guards. There is a massive dropoff at the center position after you get past the top dudes.

  19. In a year with such a shallow free agency, the front office waive $27m worth of salary to unlock $12m worth of spending power. All year we've heard that, if nothing else, Bamba will make for a good trade piece.

    A lot of these free agency rumours coming from other sources seem to be based on the notion other front offices operate like El Segundo. News flash – most actually maximize the value of their current roster!

  20. Using the full MLE could mean Lakers lose one of Dlo or Rui because they will be hard capped at 172 M all season. They will also be limited at the buyout market mid season.

  21. I would definitely accept Torrey Craig and Seth Curry as a replacement plan.

  22. Russell Westbrook was many things bad in 2022/23, a bad defender was not one of them, he got better as the year went on, in the playoffs he was elite, solidly guarding Durant and Booker in a way few in the league dreamed they could.

  23. Why Beasly? Let him walk.
    Make room for Max Christie.

  24. The #1 Priority is NBA Champion 3 & D-Player Bruce Brown Jr.
    He is not going to be on the Lakers 2nd Unit. The only "legitimate" 3 AND-D PLAYER on the Lakers 1st Unit.

  25. This is the "Good trouble" when you have LBJ and AD. Salary cap issues.

  26. Point guard D'Angelo Russell needs a reliable 3-point shooter at the Small Forward position to be his "safety-valve behind the 3-point line." That way D'Angelo can stay on the ball longer by not passing to Austin Reaves.

  27. Gordon, Bruce Brown?
    More guards? To many
    Players. To many guards.
    Iam out, I only listen 3, or
    4 minutes, to you guys.

  28. I hope some Non-Laker team attempts to steal Austin Reaves with a max salary.
    Just to test the Lakers.

  29. If we can't get Bruce Brown, we should go after Yuta Watanabe

  30. I’d possibly prefer Lopez over DLO!! Move AR to point and you can find a good SG out there…

    We really all should be rooting for Lopez over DLO!!!

  31. Would ya bring pat bev back on a bet min or close to a bet min

  32. And BK Houston is rumored to be looking at Kuzma

  33. BK, was that LL Cool J concert the Run DMC Raising Hell tour where he got jumped on stage 😂😂💜💛

  34. If the Lakers can't get Brook Lopez, I'd much rather prioritize signing Dennis than Bruce Brown. Dennis has been undervalued in Lakers free-agency talks even though he is supposed to be part of the continuity core. Rui might have better productions than him in the post-season but Dennis had his moments and was a big part in the regular season. No disrespect to Bruce but I think he's not worth the full mid-level. He did played great for the Nuggets but I think his production gets overvalued because of Jokic's play., without Jokic his production goes down. Unlike Dennis, his production is not predicated on other players. Don't get me wrong, Dennis is not worth the full mid-level but I'd prioritize getting him first and getting another player like a Divencenzo type.

  35. Lebron 46 million
    Ad 42
    Reaves 12 right it’s back loaded
    Rui 15
    Vando 7
    Max ? 2
    Brown 12.4 so far that’s 136 million
    We could afford to not sign DLo and make a good offer to a center then resign Dennis to 4 or 5

  36. Szukam kąta, wiktu i opierunku na dalekiej Rusi, najlepiej w rejonie syberyjskim – jeśli Ty Mario lub Ktoś ze słuchaczy ma wiedzę o takim miejscu to proszę o kontakt. Czołem Wielkiej Sławiańszczyznie.

  37. I think bamba can guard chet holmgreen , wemby , and that type of players and a guy like thompson but fit in timeline with lakers maybe is castleton .

  38. @locked on lakers so much better than Trevor boring lane

  39. Hey Brian can you talk to my boss please? Apparently I wasn't supposed to clock out early 😅

  40. Bruce Brown MLE , Javon Carter Vet Min., and Mo Bamba for Vet min. Retain D'lo(trade piece for deadline),Reaves, Hach. And I'm a happy man.

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