Phoenix Suns keep Shannon Brown, Waive Hamed Haddadi

USA TODAY Sports

Third-string center Hamed Haddadi was released as expected, but in a surprising twist the Phoenix Suns have decided to guarantee Shannon Brown's entire $3.5 million salary for the 2013-14 season.

As expected, Hamed Haddadi was released, which saves the Suns $1.2 million in salary and opens minutes for rookie center Alex Len.

The surprise came with the other decision.

After being banished to the bench once Lindsey Hunter took over as coach of the Phoenix Suns, many assumed that Shannon Brown had played his last game in orange and purple.

That may be true, but only because the Suns are changing their uniforms and primary color scheme to orange and black.

Shooting guard Shannon Brown will remain with the Suns on a full-guaranteed $3.5 million contract for the 2013-14 season.

Brown handled his benching last spring in a professional manner, only commenting to the press when he was sought out for comment. After the season ended, Brown admitted the Suns "lied" to him about his opportunities for playing time in the 2012-13 season when he signed a two-year deal for $7 million last summer. The second year was half-guaranteed, allowing the Suns an outlet if they wanted to go in a different direction this summer.

Apparently, the Suns wanted Brown to stay right where he is. Hopefully, for Brown's sake, that means either a trade or playing time.

Since the end of the season, the Suns have replaced the GM and head coach who banished Brown. Maybe this signals a fresh start for Brown.

For the Suns to waive Brown and save half of his 2013-14 in the process, they needed to release him by noon today (36 hours after midnight of draft night). A source with the Phoenix Suns has confirmed that the team allowed the deadline to pass without action, which guarantees Brown's entire 2013-14 salary.

With Jared Dudley still under contract and P.J. Tucker likely to be kept (the Suns have until Monday night to guarantee his 884K), the Suns now have no less than five players to man the shooting guard position in 2013-14. Only Dudley averaged better than 35% on 3-pointers last season, a staple in a good NBA offense.

At the Draft on Thursday night, the Suns came away with Archie Goodwin and Malcolm Lee. Both are guaranteed contracts of about 900K each for next season. Malcolm Lee, a defense-oriented shooting guard who has not been able to stay healthy, is on the final year of his rookie deal.

Only Jared Dudley and Archie Goodwin are guaranteed contracts beyond next season. Brown, Lee and Tucker are all expiring contracts, totaling $5.3 million.

Dudley and Tucker can slide to small forward easily, but Michael Beasley and Marcus Morris already get minutes at that position.

Wing minutes will be tight in 2013-14. Wesley Johnson, a free agent, is now unlikely to be resigned unless more moves are made this summer.

Free agency begins on Monday, and trades under the new league year can begin on July 10, after the moratorium to settle the books and open the new year.

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