Another potential Lakers trade target is all but officially off the market

The Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be active in trade discussions this summer. One of the players Los Angeles might have targeted is off the board.
Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets
Chicago Bulls v Brooklyn Nets / Mike Stobe/GettyImages

When the Los Angeles Lakers remained inactive at the 2024 NBA trade deadline, general manager Rob Pelinka chose to provide context. Pelinka spoke openly, simply stating that you, "Can't buy a house that's not for sale," per Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

In that same interview, Pelinka made it clear that he'll be looking for trades this summer—a process that will have to go on without a potential dream fit.

The Lakers have been linked to a seemingly endless number of star-caliber players heading into the 2024 offseason. Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell took center stage in that regard, but the Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly removing them from future trade negotiations.

According to Fred Katz of The Athletic, another coveted potential trade target will not be available to the Lakers this summer: Brooklyn Nets swingman Mikal Bridges.

"The Nets have expressed zero interest in trading Bridges, according to league sources who have been in contact with them — and it’s not like they haven’t had opportunities. Other teams have offered hoards of first-rounders; Brooklyn hasn’t engaged."

Considering how much has been offered and declined, it's safe to say the Lakers would have trouble convincing the Nets otherwise.

Mikal Bridges would've been a dream acquisition for the Lakers

Bridges, 27, is among the most sought-after two-way players in the NBA. This past season, he averaged 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 steal, and 2.7 three-point field goals made per game while appearing in all 82 outings for the Nets.

An All-Defensive First Team selection in 2021-22, Bridges has showcased the capacity for lockdown defense when playing alongside star-caliber offensive players.

For the Lakers, pairing Bridges with Anthony Davis and LeBron James would've been a dream scenario. With Davis and James shouldering the bulk of the offensive load, Bridges could get back to being the dream 3-and-D wing.

With an affordable cap hit of $23.3 million, Bridges would've also fit into the Lakers' updated vision of prioritizing depth over star power.

Instead, the Lakers are scratching another name off of their list of potential trade targets this summer. Any proposed deal would likely include multiple first-round draft picks, but Brooklyn has already declined that type of package.

With the 2024 NBA Draft nearing and free agency not too far behind, the Lakers will be looking for other ways to find the 3-and-D wing their roster needs.