NBA Free Agents 2012: Keeping Shannon Brown the Best Move for Phoenix Suns

Stephen Babb@@StephenBabbFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 27:  Shannon Brown #26 of the Phoenix Suns high fives teammates during the NBA game against the San Antonio Spurs at US Airways Center on March 27, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Spurs defeated the Suns 107-100. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After toying with the addition of a shooting guard from outside the organization, the Phoenix Suns eventually settled for the guy right under their nose.

According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears, they got a pretty good deal too:

Shannon Brown re-signing for two-year, $7 million deal with Suns.

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 20, 2012

Some fans might have preferred a more flashy acquisition.

Phoenix made overtures to O.J. Mayo and even signed restricted free agent Eric Gordon to a hefty offer sheet, but nothing panned out

Consequently, the Suns' roster may be a bit less talented than it might otherwise be under ideal circumstances, but there's still a lot to be said for holding on to Shannon Brown. He may not have been the club's first choice, but he's a pretty good one.

The 26-year-old had his most productive season last year, starting more games than he had in his previous five campaigns combined. 

More importantly, the historically inefficient shooter improved his consistency from behind the arc to a respectable 36 percent.

His numbers when starting were even better.

Brown won't wow anyone on either end of the floor. He has his moments as a scorer, but he's still got plenty of work to do. He's an average defender and doesn't have the size or length to take on some of the league's bigger shooting guards.

Then again, if the guy was perfect, he'd be making more than $3.5 million a year.

The Suns are modestly banking on the fact that Brown is getting better and could easily improve over the course of the next two seasons. Some regular playing time and confidence from head coach Alvin Gentry could go a long way in making Brown's prime years his best yet.

The flashes of explosiveness and streaky perimeter touch offer similar cause for hope.

There's no doubt Brown can be lethal at times.

The other benefit to going with the in-house option at the 2 is that the Suns have already undergone a massive facelift. The additions of Goran Dragic, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola and Kendall Marshall mean there will be a lot of on-the-job learning taking place for much of the regular season.

The loss of Steve Nash won't make things any easier.

Having holdovers like Brown and Marcin Gortat around will help offset those growing pains, at least in part. They may not be familiar faces to all the newcomers, but they understand Gentry's system and will likely lead the way as Phoenix's locker room takes shape.

As the Suns' rebuilding effort begins in earnest, that kind of stability will come in handy.

So will Shannon Brown.