Thursday, June 30, 2011
Updated: July 1, 8:38 PM ET
Shannon Brown becomes free agent
By Dave McMenamin
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown will not exercise the option in his contract to remain with the team next season and will test the waters as an unrestricted free agent.
Brown, 25, informed the Lakers on Thursday, the last possible day with the June 30 deadline, that he would not be accepting their guaranteed deal worth approximately $2.4 million that was on the table. After playing for four teams through the first five years of his career, Brown is seeking a multiyear deal through free agency.
"Today we did what we had to do to increase my chances of getting better in the NBA," Brown said in a phone interview.
Brown, who blossomed as a player in his 2½ seasons with the Lakers, winning two championships and averaging a career-high 8.7 points per game in 2010-11, said he struggled with the decision.
"I had to weigh every option," Brown said. "It was on my mind every day."
Brown said his agent, Mark Bartelstein, has been contacted by "several" teams with interest in the 6-foot-4, 210-pound guard's services. The pair also "did the homework," according to Brown, and surveyed the league's other 29 rosters to determine where he could be a fit.
Brown did not rule out the possibility of returning to the Lakers with a new deal, but did not sound optimistic about that occurring.
"I'm not sure, I can't really say," Brown said. "They just got two draft picks, two guards."
Brown was referring to Darius Morris and Andrew Goudelock, whom the Lakers selected with picks Nos. 41 and 46, respectively, in last week's draft.
The fact that the league is about to enter a lockout until a new collective bargaining agreement is settled on certainly complicated Brown's situation, but he is comfortable with the choice he made.
"I feel like I made the right decision for myself, my family and everyone else involved," Brown said.
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.