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Shannon Brown Is Coming Home

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Honestly, I'd kind of forgotten that Shannon Brown was still out there. Nothing against the guy. It's just that free agency seemed to end a couple weeks ago, at which point my brain pivoted to other important topics, like the new season of Jersey Shore. I'm not that great at multitasking.

Buy hey, what do we have here? It's our old buddy Shannon Brown, apparently about to re-up with the Lakers for $4.6 million over two years. Put words in the mouth of your client, agent Mark Bartelstein:

"Obviously, the process took a while, but Shannon wanted to be here and they wanted him," Bartelstein said. "Shannon had a number of other opportunities out there, but he had been in L.A. for two years and they won two championships. The chance to go for a three-peat is very special to him."

Yes, it's very special to all of us. Welcome back, Shannon! If I'd had some advance notice, I would've brought cupcakes.

The terms of the deal seem fair to everyone involved. The average yearly salary of $2.3 million is a slight raise from what Shannon would've earned if he hadn't opted out of his old contract. He also gets the security of a second year. Even better for him, that second year is at his option, so if he blows up this year, he can always go shopping for a bigger deal in 2011. The Lakers, meanwhile, get a known quantity back at reasonable cost. All should be happy with this one.

At this point in life, we understand what we're getting in Shannon Brown. He's not qualified to start in the NBA, but he's a serviceable second-unit player. For better and worse, he can generate his own shot. Whether those shots go in, who the hell knows. His three-point shooting in the 2009 playoffs was obviously a fluke that will never be repeated. Where he can make himself a more efficient offensive player, however, is by improving his shot selection. This past season, according to HoopData, the percentage of his FGAs that came 16-23 from the basket spiked. Brown needs to work on making smarter decisions with the ball and holding his fire until the offensive sequence finds him closer to the hoop.

On defense, Shannon's athleticism results in good steal and block rates, but his instincts are terrible. He's a mess at defending the pick-and-roll, and he's easily rubbed off on back screens. None of this is likely to change dramatically, though one hopes that with still more experience in the Laker system, the errors will become fewer.

What his re-signing does is give the Lakers truly substantial depth. The second unit is solid top to bottom, and there are even decent options as you reach down into the third string.

 

Starter

2nd String

3rd String

4th String

PG

Fisher

Blake

SG

Bryant

Brown

Vujacic

SF

Artest

Barnes

Walton

Ebanks *

PF

Gasol

Odom

Caracter *

C

Bynum

Ratliff

* = Unsigned

Presumably the team will continue trying to move Sasha Vujacic to save money, but there's no guarantee there'll be a taker. If there isn't, expect a spirited contest for the backup SG slot behind Kobe Bryant. I know a lot of us want Sasha to win out in that competition, but Phil Jackson favored Shannon over Sasha at pretty much every opportunity last year, so I'm guessing the advantage is Shannon's to lose. Either way, the Laker bench will be better this year than it's been in ages.

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