The young, extremely athletic swingman Shannon Brown recently opted out of his deal with the Lakers, and will become a free agent whenever this lockout ends. And the Bulls need to pull out all the stops to get him.
Players like Monta Ellis, OJ Mayo, Courtney Lee and others have been mentioned time and time again as potential additions to the roster to fill the two-guard hole. Shannon Brown is a new name to the list of possible replacement two guards, but easily the most interesting.
Last year, Brown was the back-up to Kobe Bryant and obviously learned a great deal from one of the greatest of all time. In barely 19 minutes a game, he averaged nine points. While definitely not great numbers, he did play minimal minutes. If he played more minutes a game, Brown could contribute and become the difference maker the Bulls require.
And in the end, the Bulls only need 12-15 points a game from the starting shooting guard to be competitive in the NBA finals. Brown was almost there in playing less than half of the game; if he was a starter Brown could hypothetically score as much as the Bulls need.
Brown is not the best shooter, converting 43 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point land. On the other hand, Derrick Rose converted 45 percent from field and 33 percent from three-point land. So on paper, the two players are very similar in terms of shooting. The similarities continue however, and that's what makes him so intriguing.
How will the Bulls fill the shooting guard hole?
Brown is ridiculously athletic. Just type his name into YouTube and watch some of the videos on there. At 6'4'' he is blindingly fast and an explosive dunker. Sound familiar? Derrick Rose is 6'3'', extremely fast and a great dunker. The similarities between the players are why they could potentially play extremely well together.
The athletic combo of Rose and Brown would be nearly impossible to defend on fast breaks. On break aways, D-Rose is almost always in front of the rest of the team because they cannot keep up with his speed. But Brown could keep pace, giving Rose another option.
And Shannon Brown also fits in with how the Bulls play on offense. The bigs crash the boards on defense, hit the guard in the outlet pass and try to run a fast break. Brown is by no means a point guard, nor as good as Rose, but could potentially run the break if Rose is on the bench.
Granted, he is not the best defender. But at this point, he is passable on defense. Yet, the combination of his young age, athleticism and Tom Thibodeau could help mold him into a very good defender.
Shannon Brown's age is also a plus. At only 25, he has a long future left in this league. This would be a long term solution, instead of a quick fix. And it could work out great for the Bulls.
Perhaps the best part about Shannon is that he's minimal risk and huge reward. Brown will make around $2.5-3 million a year—or, in other terms, a little more than half of what Kyle Korver makes. As a result, the Bulls could sign Brown for a three-year deal worth roughly $9 million.
The Bulls don't have to break the bank to get him, and he could still end up being the impact player the Bulls need off the bench. If he does not turn out to be an impact player, no great loss, as the Bulls did not spend too much money on him or have to trade assets to acquire him.
Let's face it. Shannon Brown is not a high profile, flashing name. But the Bulls would have to give too much up in a trade for O.J. Mayo or some other player. And the Bulls don't have the money to sign Jason Richardson or Jamal Crawford—so Brown becomes an option.
Who knows? Shannon Brown has never had a great opportunity to start, but certainly has the physical skills to do so. He might not be the solution, but, then again, he might. It won't take a big investment on the Bulls' part, so why not find out if the can be the player the Bulls have been looking for?
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