NBA Free Agency 2012: Shannon Brown and the 5 Leftovers Who Are Drawing Interest
You know how the meals after the Thanksgiving Day feast are filled with nothing but turkey-based leftovers? That's about where we are now with the NBA free agents.
All of the entrees that fly off the table once everyone sits down are now gone, and we're witnessing teams fighting over table scraps and leftovers.
Teams still have needs to fill, and thus some of these leftovers are drawing quite a bit of interest and are even making fans excited.
Read on for the five free-agency leftovers who have the best combination of skill and interest.
Last Team: New Orleans Hornets
2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 11.8 points, 1.5 assists, 2.6 rebounds
A shoot-first shooting guard with a terrific outside stroke, Marco Belinelli is looking to escape from the New Orleans Hornets now that both Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers appear to be ahead of him on the depth chart.
Belinelli isn't a true specialist from the perimeter because he does have some semblance of an offensive game inside the three-point line, but he's not a great defender either. The Hornets often hide him in their defensive schemes.
While the Los Angeles Clippers were the early favorites for the services of the Italian, the signing of Grant Hill knocked them out of the running.
Now, HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy reports that the Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks are all interested in the 2-guard.
Last Team: Phoenix Suns
2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 11.0 points, 1.2 assists, 2.7 rebounds
Even though Shannon Brown has now spent six years in the NBA—with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Charlotte Bobcats and Phoenix Suns—he has yet to become more than just an athlete playing basketball.
Brown has some of the best hops in the NBA and can routinely throw down some of the best highlight dunks while elevating to block the occasional shot.
He's a streaky shooter from the outside, but he struggles if asked to create his own shot or drive to the basket. Brown's best asset has to be his tenacious defense, in which he uses his incredible athleticism to make up for his lack of size.
The Journal Times' Gery Woelfel reports that the Milwaukee Bucks are interested in Brown, but the pursuit doesn't appear to be going well:
Shannon Brown, whom the Bucks have had interest in, is close to signing with another unknown team.— Gery Woelfel (@GeryWoelfel) July 17, 2012
So, who could that unknown team be?
The Suns have been interested in retaining the services of the shooting guard, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. Some speculate that the Chicago Bulls could get involved as well, but no word has leaked from the team's camp. Other than that, the team really would be unknown.
Last Team: New Orleans Hornets
2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 12.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 0.3 blocks
Because of his hard-working demeanor and his lack of flash on or off the basketball court, Carl Landry has spent the early portion of his NBA career laboring away outside of the spotlight.
That might be best for Landry, who has put up solid numbers while deferring to better options on his team.
The former Purdue Boilermaker is undersized, but tough. He's not a great rebounder, but he doesn't mind drawing contact when putting aside his overused—but deadly—midrange game and going to work in the post.
Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group reports that the Golden State Warriors are interested in bringing in Landry to serve as a backup for David Lee, but that's about all the major interest that he's drawn thus far, as teams have focused on more glamorous players.
UPDATE: The Boston Celtics have reportedly acquired Lee in a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets.
Last Team: Houston Rockets
2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 11.4 points, 1.5 assists, 2.7 rebounds
Courtney Lee has spent the recent part of his NBA career backing up Kevin Martin, but he's ready to earn a bigger role than the one he had with the Houston Rockets.
Although he's seemingly completely averse to drawing contact with drives to basket, Lee has a great perimeter game, a solid shot and a good amount of defensive presence. He knocks down a ton of three-pointers and would be able to take another step forward if he would ever learn how to use pick-and-rolls.
Comcast SportsNet New England's A. Sherrod Blakely reports that the Boston Celtics are interested in acquiring Lee, as are the Minnesota Timberwolves. Boston has been making a push for the shooting guard for a while now, and I still believe they're the favorites to land him.
The Los Angeles Lakers are another team involved in the Lee sweepstakes, according to HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy, as they look to add him through a sign-and-trade. If the sign-and-trade isn't an option, Kennedy also reports that the Phoenix Suns are a candidate.
Last Team: Golden State Warriors
2011-2012 Per-Game Stats: 9.8 points, 1.4 assists, 3.9 rebounds
A restricted free agent, Brandon Rush isn't guaranteed to return to the Golden State Warriors, but the Dubs have made it clear that they'd like to retain the services of the backup shooting guard.
According to the Bay Area News Group's Marcus Thompson, Rush has stated that he'd like to return to Golden State, and the Warriors are fine matching mid-level offer sheets for him.
HoopsWorld's Yannis Koutroupis reported that the Los Angeles Lakers are interested in Rush, which is great news for Golden State. L.A. can only offer the mini-mid-level exception, and the Warriors wouldn't even hesitate to match.
Rush is a true sharpshooter, shooting 45.2 percent from downtown on 3.4 attempts per game last season. He's a decent defender and isn't inordinately limited in the rest of his offensive game, but his three-point shooting is where his true value lies.