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Lakers' Shannon Brown opts out of contract; becomes free agent

June 30, 2011 |  3:06 pm

Fabforum Lakers backup guard Shannon Brown informed the team Thursday that he was exercising his option to terminate the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.

Brown and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, said this was the best time for the 6-foot-4 guard to test the free-agent market, even though the NBA is about to impose a lockout and no one knows what the future collective bargaining agreement will be.

Brown had to let the Lakers know of his decision by Thursday's deadline.

"We made the best decision for me and everybody around me," Brown said in a telephone interview. "It's an interesting time to do this because of the lockout, but I think this is the best thing for me to do right now."

Brown signed a two-year, $4.5 million deal with the Lakers in 2010, even though he was offered more money and a longer deal by several teams. He was due to make about $2.37 million next season.

Brown and Bartelstein said the player wants a longer-term contract, and both said the Lakers remain in the mix.

"I haven't ruled out the Lakers," Brown said. "I don't know if they will rule me out. I'm staying open."

Brown averaged 7.2 points on 45.9% shooting, 28% from three-point range, in 16.6 minutes in 10 playoff games.

He averaged 8.7 points on 42.5% shooting, 34.9% from three-point range, in 19.1 minutes during 82 regular-season games.

"All I want to be able to do is have options," Brown said. "I'm excited about this and what the future holds. I still love the Lakers because they gave me an opportunity. But I'm going to test the market and see what happens."

RELATED

Lockout will be here for some time

Lakers fans: How will you fill the time if season is delayed or canceled?

David Stern says there is still time for a deal

 -- Broderick Turner

Photo: Shannon Brown. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times


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