What can Brown do for the Suns?

Dee Brown brings speed and energy, but don't expect to see him much before garbage time.

Dee Brown brings speed and energy, but don't expect to see much of him on the floor.

Probably not a whole lot.

Guard Dee Brown has been signed to be the 13th man, and the main intrigue will be if he passes Goran Dragic on the depth chart.

I understand that really none of the options fit the criteria the Suns ideally desired, which is a quality backup pure point guard who the team would be comfortable with running the show when Nash sits, as insurance if Nash God forbid gets injured and as a possible fill-in to give Nash nights off once in a while like Shaq gets.

Dee Brown isn’t that player, but he’s still probably the best choice of the six players the Suns worked out, a not-so-star-studded list that included the likes of Damon Stoudamire, Darrell Armstrong (I thought he was coaching by now), Eddie Gill, Troy Hudson and Walker Russell Jr. (who’s that?).

There’s a reason only Brown has played in the NBA this season amongst that group, and even he was cut by the putrid Washington Wizards.

Brown, AKA “The One Man Fastbreak,” certainly fits the Suns’ style and will add excitement when he’s on the court.

Watching him and Leandro Barbosa race up and down the floor could be a treat, only that pairing would also be a treat for any opposing backcourt with any kind of size to score against.

Brown brings great quickness as his nickname suggests and is a solid on-ball defender, but as a 6-foot, 181-performer he can’t exactly be paired with Nash or Barbosa in a defensive backcourt. He’s been a poor pro shooter, but I remember him having some range on his shot in college.

I doubt he’ll improve much on his career averages of 2.0 points, 1.8 assists and 1.0 rebounds per game, but at least he’ll be fun to watch in garbage time.

For the time being, head coach Terry Porter has said the Suns will stick with LB getting the majority of the backup point guard minutes, so I expect Brown to do most of his work congratulating his teammates as they come back to the bench for a timeout.

The contract isn’t guaranteed, so if a veteran who fits the Suns’ criteria becomes available, I’d expect them to pounce on that.

I doubt that player would be Stephon Marbury, as tantalizing as adding him may be, not so much for the baggage and coach-killing issues but because he needs shots to be effective, and the Suns already have too many of those guys.

I think Marbury would be great attitude-wise and off the court like Manny Ramirez with the Dodgers, as whenever the Knicks rid themselves of him he’ll be playing for his next contract and will want to show he’s not the cancer he’s been made out to be. Plus, I’m sure he just wants to win after playing on bad and mediocre teams his entire career.

But his scoring nature just would not mesh with the needs of Amare, Shaq and J-Rich.

Now that the Suns will have a warm body to play point guard outside of their regular rotation, I’d like to see Goran Dragic sent down to the D-League. His confidence is shot right now, and there’s only so much improvement he can make watching the game from the bench.

Long term he very well may still be an effective NBA player, he just isn’t right now. Thus getting some time at a level he can handle seems like the best case scenario for Dragic, the Suns and Suns fans who won’t have to cringe at the sight of him entering an NBA game for the time being.

As for Brown, I’ll always hold a grudge against him for being one of the catalysts of the Illinois Fighting Illini squad that ripped out the collective heart of the University of Arizona and then stomped on it by coming back from the now infamous 15-point deficit with four minutes to go in the 2005 Elite Eight.

That day essentially marked the end of the Arizona basketball dynasty and the low point of my collegiate fandom, but apparently UA alums Steve Kerr and Robert Sarver have forgiven him.

After all, they could have gone with the great Wildcat Stoudamire.

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