Knicks Offer Shannon Brown A Contract


Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown passes off under pressure from Boston Celtics forward Glen Davis (R) and guard Ray Allen in the fourth quarter during Game 3 of the 2010 NBA Finals basketball series in Boston, Massachusetts, June 8, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Once again, Shannon Brown has leapt into the air without knowing what he'll do or where he'll land. Could it be in New York? Although I'm a fan of him, below I explain why I hope not. (Source: Yardbarker.com)

According to CBS Sports.com’s Ken Berger, the Knicks have made an offer to Laker free agent Shannon Brown.  The Lakers have said they’d like to keep Brown, but because they’re far over the luxury cap, whatever they offer him they’ll have to pay exactly the same amount in luxury taxes.  Their projected salary for next year is more than $92.5 million, which’d leave them having to pay $22 million additional dollars in taxes for a total of over $114.5 million.  Them’s a lot of bones.

That of course doesn’t even count however much the new deal with coach Phil Jackson is (somewhere between $5-12 million).  Brown would’ve made $2.15 million this year if he hadn’t opted out of his contract, so presumably he wants a bump up to at least $2.5 million, which’d translate into $5 million for the Lakers.  Their hesitancy is understandable.  To save money (and thus feel okay about resigning Brown), the Lakers are trying to get rid of the $5.5 million contract of Sasha Vujacic.

How much the Knicks offered Brown are unknown, but according to the Berger article it seems like one of their selling points is that he could vie for the starting shooting guard spot (presumably having to beat out Wilson Chandler and newcomer Kelenna Azubuike).

Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about the signing.  Brown’s a good player, but do we need another supporting piece?  My issues:

Threes

While he’s certainly got amazing ups, he shot a pedestrian .328 from three-point range last season, and the ability to hit the long ball is a necessity in Coach Mike D’Antoni’s system.  If Brown couldn’t shoot better than that with Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom and Ron Artest all drawing the defense’s attention, it’s hard to imagine that Amar’e Stoudemire, Ray Felton and Ronny Turiaf will create any easier shots.

Position/Height

Brown also is theoretically listed as a point guard, but only moved to shooting guard due to the Lakers’ growing distrust of Vujacic as the backup.  At 6’4″, Shannon’s tall for a point guard, but pretty short to play the two spot.  And besides that phenomenal leaping ability, does he bring anything new to the team that our current possible twos don’t?  If we’ve got a fast-break going, yes, Brown will look more impressive on the finish, but it ain’t like Wilson Chandler couldn’t throw one down just as easily.

Money

While we might only be offering him $2.5 million, unless it’s just a one year deal (or a two year deal where the team has an option for the second one), I don’t think it’s in our best interest to add to our salary.  After years of us being crazily over the cap, it’s nice that we’re not only under it now, but due to Eddy Curry’s expiring contract, we’ll be under it again next summer too.  This enables us to at least have a shot at signing big free agents like Carmelo Anthony, Tony Parker, or down the road Chris Paul.  Sure, if you’ve got a shot at a potentially really good player (like Anthony Randolph), you commit to them now rather than dream “what if” about future signings.  However, this will already be Brown’s fifth year in the league, and although he definitely can (and should improve), he seems unlikely to ever truly explode into All-Star material.  While his contract would be reasonable, it reminds me of how in the past we filled up excessive cap space with Shandon Anderson, Howard Eisley and Jared Jeffries types.

Playing Time

Both here and in Phoenix, Coach Mike D’Antoni has shown he prefers a shorter rotation of players, often maxing out at just using eight of ‘em.  With Toney Douglas set to back up Ray Felton, Brown would mostly be looking at minutes at shooting guard, as mentioned above.  However, in the swing positions of the two and three we’ve already got Azubuike, Chandler, Bill Walker and Danilo Gallinari.  Someone’s gonna have to lose out on minutes big-time, leaving some unhappy players in the locker room.  If instead we sign our second-round pick Landry Fields as the fifth man in the rotation, one can presume that he’d be happy just to make the roster and wouldn’t mind the lack of minutes.

Tags: Los Angeles Lakers New York Knicks Shannon Brown

  • alayonking

    You make a lot of sense especially on playing time.

  • http://midtownexception.com/2010/07/knicks-interested-in-shannon-brown/ Noah

    Well, it’s clear the Knicks need another two-guard – hence the team’s interest in Rudy Fernandez. Chandler’s not really a SG, Azubuike is coming off of an injury/can’t be counted on for a starter’s minutes, and I’m not trusting Walker with big time minutes off the bat. And while Brown can struggle with his long-distance jumper, he was still more efficient from mid to long-range than both Chandler and Azubuike.

    And Brown’s contract won’t make or break Carmelo’s signing. He’s a useful role player, and this is little more than a move to improve the team’s depth.

  • Chase Thomas

    Brown isn’t a shooter he’s just a high energy guy off the bench, a lot like Nate was.

    He’s a solid 1 on 1 and perimeter defender, which we don’t have really have at the moment.

    I’m ok with this deal and think he’ll have a solid season under D’Antoni.

  • izzy

    1 on 1 defense would be great if the knicks play D, besides azubuike plays D and has a good shot and he is taller so this is a waste of money I agree sign Fields who has had a decent summer league and probably wont whine about sitting, if the knicks want a true SG then go after Fernandez he wont cost much either can dunk too and hits 3′s at an alarming rate the nba is full of high energy non shooting Dunking players even especially in the ABA if you want one bad just sign them to a 10 day contract. besides bill walker can also do the same thing except he can also shoot.

  • http://bucketsoverbroadway.com Alex David, aka Short White Boy

    Noah,

    While the Knicks could use a better 2-guard, I just don’t think that either Fernandez or Brown are CLEARLY any better than what we currently have. They could be better, but they could be just the same. Like either one could win the starting spot, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if either of ‘em ended up having to battle for backup minutes. Shannon’s had no problem with backup minutes playing behind Kobe on a championship team, but I could see him (or anyone) being frustrated struggling for minutes against Chandler and Azubuike for a just team fighting for playoff spot. While I know that Azu’s recovering from injury, I haven’t heard any indications that there’s concern he won’t be back to full health. And when healthy he has logged starter minutes. Likewise, Chandler may be better suited for the 3, but he was solid at the 2 last year. As for whether Brown’s contract could make or break a Carmelo signing, it’s hard to say since we’ve no idea what the Brown contract is. However, even if it is just $2.5 million, leaving us forced to sign a contract starting at say $14 million rather than a max of $16.5, I think that could make or break the deal.

    Chase,

    Brown took 189 threes last year, so he may not be considered a shooter, but playing the 1 or 2, you’ve GOTTA be able to hit the three. Particularly in a system like D’Antoni’s or the Lakers’ triangle. And living out in LA I’ve watched a lot of Laker games, and Brown’s definitely not an instant-offense-high-energy Nate Robinson/Vinnie Johnson-type. He plays hard and will hustle, but like I was surprised to just find out that he averaged over 20 minutes a game ‘cuz he just blends in. Plus, I’d agree with Izzy that he’s no better a defender than Azu, and due to his lack of height, probably is worse.