NBA Experience: 5 years
Contract Status: Free Agent
2010-11 Averages: 8.6ppg, 1.9rpg, .8spg, 42% FG, 34% 3PT, 91% FT
Timing is everything in life, just ask Shannon Brown. His career has been a rollercoaster ride that took him from the depths of nearly being out of the NBA to the heights of being a two-time champion.
Shannon arrived in Los Angeles as a trade throw-in and he could be leaving as a highly sought free agent. Timing is indeed everything which is why Brown’s decision to opt-out of a contract that would have paid him $2.37-million next season could be a risky gamble.
There is no telling what the NBA will look like once the lockout ends. There is nothing that guarantees Brown will be able to get a contract with the number of years or dollars both he and his agent think the former Spartan deserves. Only time will tell.
For Brown, the 2010-11 season began with a bang. He shot out of the gate leading the Lakers’ second unit, a squad Phil Jackson affectionately referred to as the Renegades. With Lamar Odom in a starting capacity, Brown picked up LO’s slack and helped to give the Lake Show a dangerous bench. Guys like me were clamoring for Brown to get some love as the 6th Man of the Year.
Problem is it’s an 82-game season. Bigger problem was as the season went on Brown slowly began to revert to his inconsistent tendencies. Perhaps some of that had to do with his role slightly shifting once Odom returned to his rightful place as the NBA’s true 6th Man of the Year.
Whatever the case Brown never recaptured his early season form. As the bench production dipped so too did the overall performance of the team. Not coincidence by any means, Mitch Kupchak knows he’s got to get more help for the second unit if the Lakers are going to get back to NBA supremacy.
As for Brown, his future might not include the Lake Show any longer. Since he arrived in L.A. this has been the normal song and dance of the offseason. Brown seeks a new deal. The Lakers give him a two-year contract with a player option. Brown plays out the first year then opt out of the second. Then the process repeats itself all over again.
According to reports Brown had more lucrative offers with more years attached last year yet chose to return to the Lakers. With labor uncertainty there is no way of knowing what kind of financial climate Brown will step into. One thing is fore sure, the Lakers need Brown.
Shannon’s highlight dunk reel made him an instant folk hero in Los Angeles. His quick grasp of the triangle offense made him an immediate part of PJ’s rotation. His clutch shooting helped to usher both Jordan Farmar and Sasha Vujacic out of town. His poor showing at the dunk contest was forgiven thanks to his help in hanging another banner.
Fact of the matter is the Lakers can’t afford to let a young and athletic player escape their clutches. Shannon’s defensive prowess is a necessity for the Lakers to going forward. Derek Fisher’s days are numbered and his ineffectiveness against the likes of J.J. Barea was painfully exposed.
The Lakers need Brown the big question is just how much are they willing to pay. More importantly, the question could be just how much will they be allowed to pay? Time will tell and if history is any indication Shannon’s timing with the Lakers has always been impeccable.