Lakers Gauging Likelihood of Shannon Brown’s Return

Whether he wants to leave or not, the Los Angeles Lakers are going to do what they can to lure back their rim-rattling shooting guard.

According to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times, the Lakers have contacted the player representative of shooting guard Shannon Brown(notes) in hopes of gauging his interest in returning to LA for the upcoming NBA season.

"We talked about Shannon but it's a little early to see where it goes," agent Mark Bartelstein said.

As of today, all 30 NBA teams are allowed to communicate with agents and representatives regarding their players. Any sort of deal, handshake or written, will not be allowed until Dec. 9 when the league officially opens for business.

At the end of the 2010-2011 season, Brown opted out of the final year of his contract with the Lakers, which would have paid him $2.37 million for this upcoming campaign. When he made the decision, Brown made it known that he wanted to test the free agency market. He didn't, however, completely dispel the idea of returning to the Lakers if a more tempting offer never came to fruition.

Now that the NBA Lockout is over and the tip off to the 2011-2012 NBA season is only a few short weeks away, the Lakers have decided to see what their chances are of getting back their backup shooting guard.

For the past three years, Brown has been the go-to guy at shooting guard when Kobe Bryant(notes) is taking a breather. Known for his quick defense and high-flying dunks, Brown has become one of the fan favorites for the Lakers.

During the 2010-2011 season, Brown played in all 82 games while averaging 8.7 points, 1.9 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 19.1 minutes per game. His effectiveness from both the free throw line (91 percent) and from beyond the arch (34.9 percent) made him a valuable asset to the Lakers' bench.

Although chances are slim that Brown will opt for another season of playing second fiddle to one of the NBA's greatest players, a blockbuster deal may never come. If the waters are cold once free agency starts, don't be surprised to see Brown stay with the Lakers - right where he belongs.

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Los Angeles native who was born into a family of diehard Lakers fans. For more Lakers coverage, follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV.

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Updated Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011