Part 9 of the series features probably the best fit of them all, Clippers' PF, Elton Brand. (Archives after the jump).Status
ReferenceThoughts On The Player
- $16,440,000 player option for '08-'09
- '07-'08 salary: $15,344,000
Brand missed most of the '07-'08 season with an Achilles' injury. He fought hard to get back for a show-and-tell at the end of the season and he was very impressive during heavy minutes in the final 8 games of the year. There have been conflicting reports about Brand's desire to stay in L.A. My personal feeling is that he worked that hard to get back so he could opt out and get a long-term deal. Was 8 games enough of a sample size for the Sixers to invest all of their cap space (and then some) into him? I think so. Brand is a complete player at the PF position, he can play with his back to the basket, he can hit the jumper out to 15-18 feet, he can run, he can defend his man and he can help off the ball and block shots.
Since the beginning of the season we've been saying that Elton Brand is the guy the Sixers need to raise themselves to the next level. Simply put, if the Sixers did nothing but add Elton Brand to their current roster I think they become the second-best team in their division and probably wind up with home court advantage in the first round next year. Would he elevate them to a title contender? No, not Brand alone, but he'd be a key piece to the puzzle.
Check out Brand's shot chart from his last full season, '06-'07.Thought On Likelihood
As I said above, it's this blogger's opinion that the final 8 games of the season were a showcase which will lead to one of two things. Either the Clippers will pony up and extend Brand or, and I think this is more likely, he will opt out. If he hadn't come back, it would've been awfully hard for him to walk away from $16M+ guaranteed, but he's looking at boatload of money, guaranteed, if he opts out. Brand would be an unrestricted free agent, meaning any team that signs him only needs to fit the first year of his deal under the cap. If the Sixers wind up in the $11M-$13M range, they may be able to get it done. What's more likely is a sign and trade with the Clippers, with a young player headed to L.A. along with a pick to make the salaries work.
The possibility of a larger sign and trade deal does loom. Andre Iguodala or Andre Miller could be involved, but I find that less likely. If Brand opts out, the Clippers lose all leverage. They'd be in a position where a sign and trade would bring something back to them, whereas just letting Brand walk would net them absolutely nothing.
There is another possibility. If Andre Iguodala isn't happy with the offer he gets from the Sixers following his poor showing in the playoffs, nor the offers he gets from other teams, he could sign his qualifying offer. If this happens, the Sixers would immediately gain another $4M-$5M in cap space. At that point, a sign and trade wouldn't be needed.
What do you guys think? Is Brand still the number 1 option? Should the Sixers do everything (short of trading Thad) to get him? Does the Achilles injury still worry you?
Archives after the jump...