Nuggets ‘Would Almost Surely Have Interest’ in Bruce Brown: Report

Bruce Brown

Getty Bruce Brown

Former Denver Nuggets champion Bruce Brown found a new home when the Indiana Pacers traded him to the Toronto Raptors. Since the Raptors are in a rebuild, Brown may very well find another one before the NBA Trade Deadline passes.

If it comes to that, NBA Insider Marc Stein reported that the Nuggets would love to bring him back but added why a reunion isn’t feasible.

“The reigning champions from Denver would almost surely have interest in trying to reacquire Brown if it was in any way financially feasible. The unavoidable reality for the Nuggets is that making the salary-cap math work just isn’t feasible,” Stein reported on January 18.

Though they have first-round picks, the Nuggets don’t have any expendable salaries to trade in exchange for Brown. Making $6.5 million, Brown was quite a steal for the Nuggets when they won the title in 2023. In 19 playoff games, he averaged 12 points and four rebounds while shooting 51.1% from the field.

Brown’s performance earned him a massive pay raise, as he now makes $22.5 million with a team option for next season. If the Raptors waive Brown, the Nuggets could bring him back, but Brown’s contract situation makes that unlikely.

‘Growing Belief’ Raptors Will Trade Bruce Brown

Because teams around the NBA view Bruce Brown’s contract as economical, Stein reported that many expect the Raptors to trade him before the trade deadline.

“There is a strong belief already bubbling leaguewide that the Raptors will move newly acquired Bruce Brown before the buzzer sounds. Toronto can’t aggregate Brown’s contract with any other players in a follow-up trade, but Brown’s contract (which pays out $22 million this season before a $23 million team option next season) alone is extremely trade-friendly.”

Stein added that the New York Knicks may have interest, though he doesn’t fit what they currently need.

“The Knicks (with Evan Fournier’s equally trade-friendly contract to offer with draft compensation) could certainly have interest … although Brown does not exactly fit the description of the scoring guard New York is said to be seeking in the wake of shipping out Immanuel Quickley as part of the Anunoby deal.”

Fournier coincidentally also used to play for the Nuggets before they traded him to the Orlando Magic in 2014.

Lakers Will Have Interest in Bruce Brown: Report

As Stein reported, Brown may be on the move again (even though he made his debut for the Raptors on January 19). The Athletic’s Jovan Buha reported that if that’s the case, the Los Angeles Lakers would have interest, as they have before.

“If the Toronto Raptors decide to move on from Bruce Brown Jr., the Lakers will have interest in acquiring him, according to team sources,” Buha wrote in a January 19 story. “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.”

The Lakers have been mediocre as a whole this season, sporting a record of 21-21. Brown would help them, but there are better players on the market who better support their playoff aspirations.

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