Lakers backup guard Shannon Brown informed the team Thursday that he was terminating the final year of his contract to become an unrestricted free agent.
Brown and his agent, Mark Bartelstein, said this was the best time for the 6-foot-4 guard to test the free-agent market, even though the NBA imposed a lockout and no one knows what the future collective bargaining agreement will be.
Brown, 25, had to let the Lakers know of his decision by Thursday's deadline.
"We made the best decision for me and everybody around me," Brown said. "It's an interesting time to do this because of the lockout, but I think this is the best thing for me to do right now."
He signed a two-year, $4.5-million deal with the Lakers in 2010, even though he was offered more money and a longer deal by several teams. Brown was due to make about $2.37 million next season.
Brown and Bartelstein said the player wants a longer-term contract, and both said the Lakers remain in the mix. "I haven't ruled out the Lakers," Brown said. "I don't know if they will rule me out."
Brown averaged 8.7 points on 42.5% shooting, 34.9% from three-point range, in 19.1 minutes during 82 regular-season games last season.
"All I want to be able to do is have options," Brown said. "I'm excited about this and what the future holds. I still love the Lakers because they gave me an opportunity. But I'm going to test the market and see what happens."
Brown came to the Lakers in February 2009 when they traded Vladimir Radmanovich to Charlotte for Adam Morrison. Brown was considered a throw-in, but he emerged as a valuable bench player for the Lakers and played on two championship teams.