Lakers Silent About Shannon Brown's Future

Hadarii JonesSenior Writer IAugust 3, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17:  Shannon Brown #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts with teammate Pau Gasol #16 in Game Seven of the 2010 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics at Staples Center on June 17, 2010 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 Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Another day brings another rumor about the New York Knicks' interest in Los Angeles Lakers' reserve Shannon Brown, while the Lakers have yet to make clear their plans for Brown's future.

Lakers' fans are left to assume that general manager Mitch Kupchak is sticking to his promise to resign Brown because he hasn't said his intentions are anything but that.

Brown has been the subject of plenty of speculation since the free agency period began for Los Angeles, but the intensity has increased in the past few days with rumors that Sasha Vujacic's expiring contract was being shopped.

There is still a small chance the Lakers could sign Tracy McGrady, but that scenario would likely mean their relationship with Brown was over, and Kupchak may be reluctant to trade Brown's youth for McGrady's experience.

There is also a strong possibility Brown's reluctance to come to terms with the Lakers is a result of damaged feelings from the team's failure to pay Brown what he felt was his full worth.

Brown was reportedly seeking a contract in the range of $4 million a year, but the Lakers' offer was around $2.8 million per year, and free agency prevented the two sides from establishing a compromise.

The Lakers signed Steve Blake, Theo Ratliff, and Matt Barnes in the offseason, and each player theoretically dipped into the pot Brown's contract would come from.

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Unless the Lakers claim Brown's Larry Bird exception, the best deal he can probably hope for is a one year deal in which he would be an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.

If the Knicks' rumored interest in Brown are true then the distant possibility of a sign and trade involving Brown and Vujacic for McGrady could potentially be on the table.

Before free agency began it seemed unlikely Brown would follow the path of the departed Jordan Farmar and Josh Powell, because the Lakers had stated that Brown was a priority.

In fact, Kupchak only mentioned Derek Fisher and Brown when mentioning the Lakers' most pressing needs for next season, but he may have backed off that stance.

Fisher easily resigned after briefly flirting with the Miami Heat, and although Barnes and Blake can't replace what Brown brings to the Lakers, they can soften the blow should he leave.

Brown's energy and athleticism would be missed, but the Lakers are a championship team regardless of Brown' presence, and his departure would mean the Lakers have the ability to sign another player.

Rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter have shown promise and stand a good chance to make the final roster. Although Brown's return would be welcome, the Lakers have already had a successful offseason.

The smart move on Brown's part would be to weigh his options and think about what another year as a Laker could do for his future in the NBA.

The Knicks may offer Brown more money than the Lakers are capable of, but do they offer him the same chance to be part of something as special as capturing his second career championship ring?

The Lakers will be a contender regardless of Brown, so he must decide on whether or not he wants to be a part of a Lakers' three-peat quest, or does he want to view it from the confines of his New York City apartment?

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