Since he’s come to Los Angeles there have been two things you can set your watch to when it comes to Shannon Brown. First and foremost are those highlight reel, jaw-dropping dunks that looked as if ShanWow was balling in kicks with rocket boosters. The second is that every off-season Brown and the Lakers seem to go through the same song and dance.
However this time it feels like Brown could be marching to the beat of a different drum.
As expected, Brown opted out of the final year of his contract becoming a free agent mere hours before the NBA locked its doors. We’ve seen this same occurrence each year since Shannon arrived in Los Angeles. Each time he explores other options and each time he’s given a two-year deal with a player option for the second.
Last year Shannon turned down long term offers from other teams perhaps in hopes of getting another ring. This time Shannon cites similar reasons for his decision but it feels as if he won’t ignore those longer deals should they be offered.
“All I want to be able to do is have options. I’m excited about this and what the future holds. I still love the Lakers because they gave me an opportunity. But I’m going to test the market and see what happens.”
Of course the business of basketball has been put on indefinite hiatus. There’s no telling what will become of the NBA and any future contracts that free agents like Shannon are seeking. It’s a gamble to be sure but there is nothing that guaranteed Brown would have collected a single cent of the $2.37-million his contract would have paid him next season. That would require a season actually being played.
Shannon’s success story is what makes the NBA such a great league. He was a throw-in as part of a deal that was basically a salary dump. Three years later Brown made two of the Lakers top draft picks (Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic) expendable. No telling what the future holds but Brown says he’s keeping the Lakers in mind and hopes they’ll be doing the same.
“I haven’t ruled out the Lakers. I don’t know if they will rule me out. I’m staying open.”