Review and preview: Shannon Brown
Strengths: Athleticism, effort and attitude. He has freakish hops, which make him a great finisher on the break and allow him to bother taller shooters. He always brings it, never pouting about playing time or role, and that effort translates into solid defensive work for a backup wing. And he is the anti-Farmar in that he does what the coaches ask of him and is constantly trying to do whatever he can to help the team.
Weaknesses: His shooting is inconsistent. And he will sometimes settle for poor shots on the break or early in the clock, instead of working for something better. His decision-making comes and goes, as if he knows what to do but sometimes loses that in the excitement of the game. While a great finisher, does not make good decisions when leading the break.
Last year: in 20.7 minutes, he put up 8.1 points on subpar (.517 TS%, 32.8% from the arc) shooting, with nothing standing out in his other numbers enough to push his PER above 12.4. In the playoffs, he put up 4.9 points on poor (.474 TS%, 28.1% from distance) shooting, dragging his PER down to 9.7 and costing him some minutes to Sasha Vujacic at times. Solid work for a backup wing, but nothing more.
Next year: Opted out of the $2,149,200 second year of his BAE contract, and is thus a free agent. Will draw some interest and while the Lakers would like to have him back and he is willing to give them a discount, with the tendency to overpay role players off of champs (see Posey, James) there is a good chance he will not return.
He has been a valuable role player in his year and a half with the team, and his willingness to work on his game and take instruction have made him a favorite of the staff and team leaders. He has his limitations, but as a 15-20 minute backup wing you could do a lot worse, so I’d like to see him return. I’d like to see him work on his three point shooting, as the system leaves him open on the arc a lot and you have to make opponents respect your shot out there.
That said, with funds tight and offers probably coming after the big boys sign (and with some teams left with too much cash for too little available talent), I have a hard time coming up with a scenario whereby he comes back in this market. I like him and will hope for the best, but just not expecting it.