The Philadelphia 76ers officially amnestied Elton Brand on Wednesday, thus ending one of the more unfortunate marriages we’ve seen in the NBA over the last few years.
You’ll recall, back in 2008 when Philly stole him from the Los Angeles Clippers, Brand was viewed as an absolute stud. And because of the high regard that most had for him, even though it felt like his style and the Sixers’ style wasn’t a great match, folks gave it the benefit of the doubt.
Yeah – that was a mistake.
In four years with Philly, Brand was mired by injuries, consistently averaged career lows in points and rebounds, and established himself as one of the East’s worst post defensive players on a seemingly annual basis. The Sixers cutting ties with him via amnesty was inevitable – it was always a matter of when not if.
All of that being said, Brand can still bring a certain set of skills to the right team, presuming he’s added at an appropriate price. As per the NBA’s new CBA, franchises who are under the cap will be permitted to place bids on him, and then the one with the highest bid will ultimately win his services. At that point, they’ll pay him whatever they bid, and then Philly will cover the rest of what's on his contract.
Who is looking to bid on Brand? Via David Aldridge of NBA.com:
League sources indicated that at least three teams with room, the Cavaliers, Bucks and Raptors, would not be making bids on Brand. The Suns and Hornets were contemplating making a bid, according to other league sources. But teams are leery of making bids if Brand doesn’t want to play there.
All this “we don’t want him if he doesn’t want to be here” talk is moot, as we found out firsthand last year. If a team wants someone, they’ll bid on him. And generally, once they’re on a roster, players are very reluctant to sit out a year just to protest being wanted. Brand will play for whoever gets him – and he’ll be just as effective in a non-Maverick uniform as he will be in a Maverick uniform.
Now, if Dallas management is preparing to overpay for him (which some reports are indicating is the case), then they’ll get him. But if they’re just counting on other teams being scared to bid – good luck with that.