Shannon Brown slam dunk to be a free agent


Yea, doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it?

Still, high-flying Shannon Brown — well, except during the dunk contest — is expected to join this summer’s free agent class.

Brown has a player option to stay with the Lakers for $2.1 million next season (second year of a bi-annual exception deal). Brown and his agent will not talk contracts, but the Lakers front office expects him to turn down that option thinking he can make more on the open market.

And he can.

Brown is about as athletic a guard as there is in the league, and there’s no doubt he can run the floor and finish on the break. Just ask YouTube. But he also has a solid outside shot (he’s hit 43 percent of his looks from 16 to 23 feet this season), has pretty good handles and plays solid defense. His decision making as a lead guard within the Lakers triangle offense is holding his minutes back right now, but in a less structured system he might flourish.

Plus, Brown is the kind of player the team marketing guys can sell.

However, he says he loves LA. The Lakers have his “Early Bird” rights and can offer him up to the mid-level exception (likely about $5.8 million, same as this year). He’s not likely to get that much, but he should get more than the $2.1 he is owed, and he can get a longer deal that would keep his salary steady heading into the new CBA in a couple years.

Just another high-flying name to watch this summer.

Dwight Howard played through torn MCL and meniscus in playoffs

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard hasn’t exactly been healthy in recent years. He missed half of last season with various injuries, including a two-month stretch from January to March after undergoing a knee procedure. On Thursday, he told a Houston radio station that the knee problems continued after that, and he had torn ligaments and cartilage during the Rockets’ Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors:

It’s a little alarming that we didn’t hear about this until now. Sometimes these injuries can heal without surgery, but Howard can become a free agent next summer, so you would think he would want to get any lingering issues addressed ahead of time. Considering his age (he’ll be 30 in December) and his injury history, this isn’t a great sign. A healthy Howard is the difference between the Rockets being a legitimate title contender and an als0-ran, so hopefully these problems are behind him and he can stay healthy this season.

Report: Trevor Booker suspended one game for Hibbert altercation

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On Tuesday night, Jazz big man Trevor Booker was ejected from a preseason game against the Lakers for taking a swing at Roy Hibbert during a scrap.

Now, Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Booker will be suspended one game for the hit, meaning he’ll miss the Jazz’ October 28 season opener against the Pistons:

Considering he was already ejected, a one-game suspension seems about right.