In the last two weeks Shannon Brown has seen as much playing time for the Phoenix Suns as you or I have, which is to say none. An odd scenario, as he was a guy who was in his fourth straight season with increased playing time. In his five seasons prior to joining the Suns he had just 16 starts, but 41 of his 112 Suns games have been starts including a career-high 22 this season. So why the benching?
For some reason Brown’s play has regressed under Lindsey Hunter. He was a double-digit contributor under Alvin Gentry, even double-digits when coming off the bench, so I am confused as why his playing time has become zero. Of all the guys to give up on/move on from why Brown who makes just $3.5 million this season and has a $3.5 million option next season. That contract has great value for a double-digit bench scorer who is also one of your better defenders.
This season I thought Brown’s shot selection was getting better, but any aspect of his game that seemed to be improving feels like it is in the rear view at this point as his days in the desert could well be numbered.
I certainly understand a losing team like the Suns wanting to see what they have going forward with other new guys on their roster, and Brown has scuffled under Hunter, but I still am left scratching my head when trying to understand how his career-high 25+ minutes per game have become zero. Brown has shown he can contribute off the bench and if he is done in the desert after this season he will certainly have his share of suitors. Hunter seems to be trying to find himself as a head coach, and it appears Brown could be a casualty of that. Good luck to all involved!