He may have excited fans with his thrilling dunks and half-court shots, but there are much better shooting guards out there for the Lakers to acquire. This free agent class may not have the same amount of talent as 2010, but there are some solid players available that could back-up Kobe Bryant.
Jamal Crawford and Jason Richardson are two players who the Lakers can snatch this off-season, and they would both be upgrades to the reserve spot.
Brown was a free-agent before and he decided to re-join the Lakers, but this time may be different. Although Brown would be more willing to take a hit in minutes behind Kobe Bryant, there is no doubt that Crawford and Richardson would be ready to sit behind Kobe to win a championship.
Crawford was the 2010 Sixth Man of the Year with the Atlanta Hawks, so he is clearly not bothered by coming off the bench. Although his 2010-11 campaign was not as successful as the season before, Crawford can change the game with his offensive explosion. Unlike Shannon Brown, Crawford can create his own shot and does not need Kobe Bryant or Derek Fisher to set him up.
As for Jason Richardson, he may not be as explosive or as efficient as Crawford, but he is surely an upgrade from Shannon Brown. Richardson was a key player in the Magic’s rotation last year, and unlike Brown, Richardson was a consistent scorer.
Lakers fans were raving of Brown and the so-called Killer B’s when last season began, but as time went by Brown lost his mojo. He was essentially non-existent during the playoffs, and the coaching staff became weary when the reserves entered the game.
This latest free-agency period with Shannon Brown is quite similar to the one the team faced with Trevor Ariza. Both Brown and Ariza were fairly unknown before coming to the Lakers, but they shined while wearing the purple-and-gold. Ariza left the franchise, but since then has been unable to perform as well as he did with the Lakers. He was clearly a product of the Lakers’ system and could not perform at the same level with other teams that featured lesser talent around him.
Shannon Brown may think that his NBA stock rose thanks to his stint with the Lakers, but it is more likely that he shined because of the triangle offense and skilled players around him. He could sign with another team, but don’t expect him to produce like he did with the Lakers. The front-office should be thankful that it is able to clear up some cap space.
For the Lakers, it is time to finally part ways with Shannon Brown.