Darius Songailia to Stay, Shannon Brown Expected to Opt Out
That's the word from agent Mark Bartelstein, who has clients in Songaila, a New Orleans forward, and Brown, a Lakers guard, who must decide by June 30 whether to remain on their original contracts or opt out and become unrestricted free agents.
"He's going to stick with his contract,'' Bartelstein said in an interview Tuesday with FanHouse about Songaila, who will make $4.82 million next season with the Hornets. "We just thought it would be a good idea with as many players who will be free agents this summer.'
Meanwhile, Brown is expected to opt out.
"My guess is he will,'' Bartelstein said of Brown not continuing on a contract that would pay him $2.149 million next season in the second year of a two-year, $4.148 million deal. "I will talk to Shannon over the next few days.''
While Bartelstein said the decision on Brown is not yet final, he's likely to get no argument from his client. Brown told FanHouse in April it would "make a lot of sense'' to opt out of his contract due to his solid play and the uncertainty of the next collective bargaining agreement after this one expires June 30, 2011.
Brown said he hopes to re-sign with the Lakers. Bartelstein reiterated that being Brown's desire.
"He would love to stay with the Lakers,'' Bartelstein said. "It would be special to have the chance to go for a three-peat. ... I will be talking to Mitch (Kupchak, the Lakers general manager, about a possible return by Brown).''
Brown averaged 8.1 points last season for the Lakers. He has been a valuable reserve for the past two Lakers' title teams, averaging 4.9 points in 14.1 minutes while playing in all 23 postseason games this spring.
Songaila, a native of Lithuania, averaged 7.2 points and 3.9 rebounds in 75 games with New Orleans. While the Hornets have changed coaches to Monty Williams and there's some uncertainty in the future of star guard Chris Paul, Songaila's contract is simply too rich to give up with so many top free agents about to flood the market.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson