Shannon Brown's Time To Shine Is Now with Phoenix Suns

Marcelo Villa@@_marcelovillaCorrespondent IIDecember 16, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 18:  Shannon Brown #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the second quarter during the game against the Orlando Magic on January 18, 2010 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. 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 Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

With the spotlight directly focused on the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, people seem to be forgetting that the Phoenix Suns are still one of the stronger teams in the Western Conference.

While the Suns didn't make any blockbuster moves in free agency, they did manage to make one acquisition that may help them compete with Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul in 2012.

Last Thursday the Suns signed former Lakers guard Shannon Brown to a one-year, $3.5 million deal.

While Brown only averaged 8.7 points per game during last season, the former slam-dunk competitor provided the Lakers with a spark offensively off the bench.

Brown is worth a lot more than what he averaged in points last year. After all, he only averaged 19.1 minutes per game—a downside of playing as a backup to Kobe Bryant. 

Still, last season he scored in double digits on multiple occasions, including two 21-point games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls in the month of November.

Now that Brown has arrived in Phoenix, it looks like his biggest competition at shooting guard will be second-year returner Josh Childress.

Childress was in a similar situation last season when he was playing behind Suns scoring tandem Jason Richardson and Vince Carter. When Richardson was traded to the Orlando Magic, Childress was given more playing time, but lackluster performances cost him his spot in the rotation.

Fortunately for Childress, Carter was waived by the team a day after Brown's signing, and the two are expected to compete for playing time.

As of right now, Childress will most likely be the starter because of his experience in head coach Alvin Gentry's system, but don't be surprised if Brown takes over the starting role during the season.

Phoenix loves to push the basketball on offense, and point guard Steve Nash is the best in the game at setting teammates up for big plays.

At 6'4", Brown is somewhat small for a shooting guard, but he plays above the rim. Some of Brown's dunks were regularly featured on television highlight reels.

Brown's athleticism should mesh well in a fast-paced offense, and Nash is going to love setting up alley-oops with a strong finisher.

Brown didn't get his chance to shine in L.A., but Phoenix will certainly give him the best opportunity to show people that he can be a starter in this league.

On Jan. 10, the Suns will battle the Lakers in what will be Brown's return to L.A. Look for Brown to have a big game and show the Lakers why letting him go was a mistake.