Dei Lynam is reporting that Elton Brand will have surgery
on his injured shoulder and he's done for the year. It's a preliminary report, no timetable was given.
If true, it's a shame. I give the guy credit for attempting to come back, but I can't say I'm surprised in the least
I'll try to dig up some info on the surgery, but I'm pretty sure this means he's on the shelf for something like 6 months. I wouldn't hold out hope that he'll be back if/when they make the playoffs.
We'll look at the big picture after the jump.
Now that the guy who was supposed to make this team a viable threat in the post season is lost, what will Ed Stefanski do?
I wish there was a clear-cut answer. The team played extremely well when he was out before, and I think they're probably a lock for the playoffs as currently constructed, but are they more than a first-round exit? I guess that depends on what seed they wind up with.
This injury could be viewed as a free pass for Stefanski. No one really considers this team a title contender without EB (most didn't think they really were with him either, but that's beside the point), now that Brand is out of the equation, moving Andre Miller may be a much easier sell to the fans, and the ownership.
I still think he's in the catbird's seat concerning Miller. Keep Andre, go to the playoffs, and hope that a year of maturation for the young guys will make the difference in the playoffs. Keep Miller and you're the only team with Bird Rights to re-sign him this summer. By no means does he have to move Miller. Other teams need him more than Ed needs to move him.
On the other hand, will this season be little more than fool's gold? Do you hold on to Miller for a hollow playoff run only to let him walk as a free agent?
At 23-24 it wouldn't take much of a slip to fall out of the playoffs altogether. Sending Miller out in a trade just might do the trick. Would ownership allow the team to circle the drain this season in the hopes of grabbing an impact PG in the draft and reloading for next year?
I'd love to tell you I have the answer to any one of these questions. I know if I was the guy calling the shots, I'd never take a playoff run for granted. I think winning begets winning, and definitely vice versa. It would take quite a package to get me to part with Miller and I'd keep pressing my luck up against the trade deadline until that package materialized, or didn't. If I couldn't get exactly what I was looking for, well, there are worse things than playoff basketball in the Philly.
Your thoughts in the comments, please.