The Lakers acquired Shannon Brown in February 2009 in a trade that sent F Vladimir Radmonivic to Charlotte for Brown and Adam Morrison. The Lakers didn’t expect to get too much out of this trade, other than to bolster up the depth of their bench, and to get rid of a player who Phil Jackson often referred to as a “space cadet”.
In his two and a half years as a Laker, Brown has proved to be much more than just a “throw-in” for any trade. He has provided the purple and gold with a solid scoring punch off the bench, momentum changing highlight dunks that bring both home and away crowds to their feet, and Brown was a fantastic locker room presence.
With all the positive aspects of Brown’s game, there are some negatives. Brown lacked consistency in his scoring, some games he was on, some games he was off, big time. A lot of times he seemed to be aloof on the defensive end, he consistently missed defensive assignments. Shot selection was also a big problem for Brown, his tendency to take shots outside the offense often forced Phil Jackson to sub him out just as fast as he subbed him in.
With all that said, Brown has the opportunity to opt out of his current contract, and test the free agent waters, or he can pick up his player option which will pay him $2.4 million next season. The Laker brass expects Brown to opt out and check what other teams are willing to offer him, which leaves the purple and gold with a big hole on the bench. There are some free agents available that could fill Brown’s shoes, and even exceed what he brought to the table. Here is a breakdown of some realistic replacements for Brown at the backup two guard:
(Player – 2010-’11 team – Restricted/Unrestricted – 2010-’11 salary)
Anthony Parker – Cleveland Cavaliers – Unrestricted – $2.9 million
Parker could be a very good fit with the Lakers. He is familiar with coach Mike Brown, and the system that he likes to run, and he is a knock down three-point shooter which is a desperate need for the purple and gold. Another positive is Parker had a down year in 2010-’11 which may lower the price it takes to get him. Like Brown, Parker struggles defensively and lacks the freakish athleticism that Brown wowed us with nearly every game. If playing for the Lakers isn’t incentive enough, Parker’s sister, Candace, plays for the L.A. Sparks which may give him even more reason to suit up for the Lakers.