The next time someone tells you no one cares about the Sixers, get them to take a look at yesterday's post and the 220+ comments from Sixers fans. I'm proud of you guys for carrying the torch and I can only hope that some day the franchise will put a product on the court worthy of your devotion. Let's keep the momentum going with another question today, check it out after the jump.
What do we do with Elton Brand next season, and beyond?
I realize this is a loaded question, but if the Elton Brand we've seen for the past two months is all that's left of him, it's one our next coach is going to have to answer very quickly. If this isn't all that's left of him, then I'd kind of like to know why. Brand started the season off slowly, then looked like his old self for a fairly decent stretch, only slow down and basically become dead weight on the floor. He gets hot for stretches, hits his mid-range jumpers and uses his "old-man moves" to finish around the hoop, but he rarely blocks shots, almost never grabs defensive rebounds, refuses to challenge shots on the perimeter and abhors showing on the pick-and-roll.
Is it demoralization? Is it his big eff you to Eddie Jordan? Is it simply diminished skills? Is it nagging injuries and tired legs? I honestly have no idea. The only thing I'm sure of is that this Elton Brand probably shouldn't be starting, if the Sixers can get a better option in the draft, and if this Elton Brand is the best he has to offer, we can probably do better almost immediately with a rookie.
If the Sixers somehow get up to the #3 pick and draft Derrick Favors, this is a moot point. I don't think there's any doubt Favors would start and Brand would come off the bench. I'm more talking about what happens if we land a big later on. Udoh, for example. Would he step right in and start alongside Dalembert? Would the team give it a go one more time with Dalembert and Brand at the 4/5? More importantly, can the next coach find a way to salvage something out of the rest of Brand's contract?
In a perfect world, we'd see a steady diet of pick-and-roll offense with Jrue and Brand next season. EB would shake off whatever's been bothering him and return to some kind of form on the defensive glass and just generally on the defensive end. You can't bank on that, though. I'll keep my fingers crossed, but most likely, Brand isn't going to be the starting power forward for long, he's probably best-suited for short stints off the bench to provide offense and maybe a little toughness on the defensive end. That may be all we get for the remainder of his contract.
What do you guys think? Next year, what's Brand's role on this team?