Judging Brown based on this season vs. last season
Brown regressed nearly across the board, but most of the regression was fairly minimal. In fact, if Shannon had been able to convert on three point shots at the same rate as last season, there would have been a nearly imperceptible difference. More on that next paragraph. Should a slight decline be expected on a team that experienced a huge drop off? Absolutely. Is it reasonable to expect a 27 year old player to make huge strides on a bad team? I think not.
When I was perusing Brown's stats I did notice something that I could construe as positive. Shannon's three point shooting took a declivitous dive from last year to this year, but his attempts also went down from 4.8 per 36 minutes to 3.6 per 36. The entire team struggled from long range, so I don't put Shannon's decline completely on his shoulders... it was a team failing. Jared Dudley (.391) and Sebastian Telfair (.381), who was traded, were the only players on the team that shot above the league average. Maybe this suggests that Brown actually steered clear of an area where he wasn't as productive? Couple this with an increase in assists and free throw attempts and it suggests that Shannon may have been making smart basketball decisions (Gasp!).
Judging Brown compared to the Suns other shooting guards
This is kind of interesting. With Dudley and Tucker fitting better as SF, but capable of playing the two, the Suns went into the season with the misfit duo of Johnson and Brown expected to cover many of the shooting guard duties. Brown and Wes combined for 2,355 minutes (out of a team 3,961 shooting guard minutes) and 43 starts, which means they comprised a little more than half of the team's output at that position (Dudley covering the majority of the remaining half).
The dynamic duo led to the Suns being one of the worst teams in the NBA at the shooting guard position. Dudley is obviously the cream of this crop, as he was 65th in the league in eFG% and 19th among small forwards and shooting guards combined... and only six of the 18 above him played more minutes. Where does Brown rank? 331st. Which means that if the 330 ahead of him were equally divided between the 30 teams in the league Brown would be the 12th most efficient shooter on some team's roster. Ouch.
Ironically, Wesley Johnson (who turns 26 this summer) was given a larger portion of the shooting guard minutes in the second half of the season, but he was just as bad as Brown. The players rank Dudley first, Tucker second and Brown and Johnson tied for worst.
Judging Brown compared to league shooting guards
Ranking in terms of 98 shooting guards in the league. All statistics taken from Basketball-Reference.com.
65th in eFG%.
68th in WS/48.
31st in points per 36.
39th in rebounds per 36.
54th in assists per 36.
21st in steals per 36.
Brown is a borderline backup shooting guard. Many of his categories lend credence to his ability to fill such a role, but his inefficiency as a scorer, combined with the fact that he takes lots of shots, push him to the brink. If you want one of the worst backup shooting guards in the league then Shannon is your man.
Overall Grade: D
Shannon Brown is not a good basketball player. The Suns would be much better off giving his minutes to a young player with even a hint of potential (not Wesley Johnson) or a free agent upgrade. Then again, if the Suns plan on participating in the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes... then Brown would be a perfect complement to a bottom of the barrel roster. My guess is, speaking of barrels of a different type, that the "Cannon" has fired his last shot as a Phoenix Sun.