Shannon Brown signed a new two-year contract to continue his career with the Los Angeles Lakers last night.
Earlier in the summer, Brown opted out of his contract with the Lakers because he was receiving $2.15 million for the upcoming season.
However, Brown has decided to stay with the purple and gold for the next two years, which brings him an estimated $4.6 million for the duration of his contract.
This came as a surprise to many. Brown was in serious talks with teams such as the New York Knicks and New Orleans Hornets, who were willing to offer him the pay he was looking for.
After two NBA championship victories with the Los Angeles Lakers in the past two years, it's apparent winning is most important to Brown.
Brown is willing to accept a slight raise and return to the Lakers for a chance at his third championship ring in three years.
One of the high-flying players in the NBA, Brown brings excitement and a burst of energy off the bench.
He has much potential that the Lakers recognized after Brown had statistically his best season as a professional last year.
Brown averaged 8.1 points and 1.3 assists per game during the regular season and played in all 82 games for the Lakers, with an average of 20.7 minutes per game.
With Brown back on board, the Los Angeles Lakers have perhaps an even more talented roster than last season.
New incoming player Matt Barnes brings another option for the Lakers off the bench who is capable of keeping a game under control while players like Ron Artest and Lamar Odom take a rest.
Last season, Barnes averaged 8.5 points, and added almost six rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
It will be easy to say that Barnes is probably relieved to be playing with Kobe Bryant, instead of trying to defend him every time the Lakers and the Magic matched up last season.
Incoming rookies Derrick Caracter (Texas-El Paso) and Devin Ebanks (West Virginia) bring two more options to the Los Angeles Lakers, and could prove to be effective coming off the bench in certain game situations.
The rest of the team is intact, with Andrew Bynum and veterans Pau Gasol, Odom, Artest and Derrick Fisher returning for the 2010-2011 season.
Now that Los Angeles fans can take a sigh of relief that Shannon Brown decided to stay, they can start getting their hopes up for their third NBA championship in as many years.
The Lakers are certainly talented enough to do so.
Yes, I think they are even too good for the infamous Heat and their new arsenal of all-stars taking over Miami.
Oh yeah, I forgot about one guy, Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers have him too.
I would put my money on Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers over LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and the Miami Heat any day of the week.
Which brings me to my next point.
Now that the Lakers have basically finalized their roster, what does that mean for Tracy McGrady?
The veteran is still available, and is the best option available on the market, now that Shaq has decided to go green with the Boston Celtics.
For a time, it appeared the Lakers were interested in T-Mac. It seemed he would be a good fit in Los Angeles.
Now that Brown has re-signed, T-Mac is most likely out of the picture as the Lakers' roster is filling up quickly.
The Lakers could always make some roster moves to make room for McGrady, but the chances of that happening now are very slim.
Where will McGrady end up?
There are many speculated options like the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, and even the Boston Celtics.
McGrady was even scheduled to work out with the Clippers near the end of July. They have a glaring weakness at the starting forward position.
T-Mac could fit in with the Clippers because he has made it apparent he still wants to be a starter in this league, and would reluctantly join a contender to become a role player off the bench.
The Clippers give him the opportunity to continue to be a starter in this league, but it would be more intelligent for McGrady to join a contender, like the Chicago Bulls.
McGrady would be a valuable commodity in Chicago, even though critics say he doesn't have much left in the tank.
He has been training hard this summer to resurrect his career. It appears Chicago will be his best shot at joining a team where he can be a veteran leader on such a young roster.
McGrady was one of the most dominant scorers in his prime, but now it is time for him to accept his role as a contributor off the bench with the Chicago Bulls.
There is always the option for McGrady to hang them up if nothing pans out for the one time all-star.
He was quoted saying, "If it don't happen this summer, I'll ride off into the sunset. If I could go through another off-season of working my [butt] off, and I don't feel I'm getting any better, I can't see myself coming back playing the way I'm playing right now. I just don't see it happening."
It would be nice to see McGrady play at least another season. He still has at least that much left to give to a contending team in the NBA.
Will it be Chicago? At this point, McGrady is running out of time and options.
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