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I've wanted Brand all along, but since he's opted out I've done some thinking. All the reports point to Josh Smith being the Sixers' most coveted player. It's got me thinking, is he really a better option than Elton? Elton's 29 and Josh is 22. With Elton Brand along with Andre Miller and the young core, really ready to contend right away? Or would we be better off having this team 5 years from now?

Lou-age 26
Iggy-age 29
Thad-age 25
Josh-age 27
Sammy-age 32
Speights-age 25

Now, I realize it's virtually impossible to keep ALL these players together for that long of time and I realize injuries happen, potential isn't reached, but it sure does look promising. Another downside would be not contending for a couple years, but how far would Elton really take us?

This is just me thinking out loud. I want Elton, but a part of me wants Josh. What do you guys think?

A minor correction... I think.

"If you figure the Clippers get up to the minimum of 12 players counting against the cap with minimum contracts for players with one year of experience, then you're at $34.78M"

According to the FAQ(#14), you assess the rookie minimum which would be $442,114 and I am pretty certain you can use that for the last 6 roster spots. Jordan doesn't have a hold I don't think, so they could just leave him in limbo. This would mean the total for the 12 players would be 33.45 instead of 34.78.

You are on to something here Brian.

I see it this way...

Brand's hold cannot exceed the maximum salary.

In this situation, the max would be 30% of the "cap" where the cap is based on 48.04% of projected BRI. I have no idea where to get BRI estimates. I would say the hold would be less than 18 million dollars from what I have read.

Baron Davis just opted out. The Clippers biggest need is PG. Letting Corey go and signing Baron might be enough to lure Brand into staying. Once you use your cap space, you cannot use the MLE I believe. I haven't found this for sure yet, so the Clippers would have absolutely no depth following this move. They would probably have to package future picks just to fill out their rotation. Their starting lineup would seem to be very solid with Baron, Gordon, Thornton, Brand, Kaveman.

My final numbers(using your initial ones) would be(using the actual salary cap 30%) 33.45 + 17.55 which would put them at 51 million. I think 17.55 is a high estimate. Maybe they could wiggle 10 million dollars in cap space out of this. That could be enough to get Baron maybe. He does love LA I believe.

On the MLE. I read it somewhere tonight, but I can't find the link. You either have cap space or you have a MLE, you don't have both.

So, you're right, they'd have to sign Baron for less than the available cap space to them (or sign and trade Maggette to G.S. for Baron), then sign Brand and fill out the roster with basically rookies.

That could get it done, if Baron wants to come to L.A. badly enough to leave $7M+ on the table. Grrrrrr....

Joe reply to Brian on Jul 1 at 1:02

Good news. They sent out qualifying offers to Fazekas and Marcus Williams killing about a million of that cap space most likely, so I don't think this was a "master plan" type of thing.

Nice. The only way a Baron to L.A. deal works is a Maggette sign-and-trade, possibly a three-team deal. Or if Baron is willing to take somewhere between $8-$9M for his first year contract.

Yeah but Josh Smith isn't really a power forward, certainly not like Brand is (as in, he's not a low post scorer at all). If you can get Brand, I think you have to. Josh Smith is one of my favorite players in the league, but I'm not sure how his awesomeness really translates to winning basketball games.

Yeah, Smith and Brand are two opposite directions. While I think watching Josh Smith with the rest of this team would be unbelievably fun, I'm not sure it's going to translate into winning. Brand has to be option #1 at this point. It should be a full court press on him until they get him or he signs somewhere else.

From a radio interview I heard w/ Stefanski, he wasn't expecting Brand to opt out, but basically said if he becomes available he'll do anything he can to get him. Time to put up.

In my mind, Brand still is the guy right now. I'm just looking at the options.

Ya, I see what your saying. I just keep picturing him as a Shawn Marion type player, but then I realized none of Marion's teams ever made it to a championship. I also think Smith would be better served with a big time post player at center, instead of a Sammy. All that being said, I still can't get his ridiculous upside out of my mind and the fact that he's only 22.

By the way, the problem I have with no being able to decide between Elton and Josh is a very, very good problem to have.

I'm just giddy that Brand opted out. I thought there was about a 5% chance it would actually happen.

Seriously, I was shocked when I read it.

I have the Sixers with $45.8 million against the cap for next season. With a 59 million dollar cap(Chad Ford's projection), the Sixers would have 13.2 million in cap space from my numbers.(8.4 and 1.0 million dollar cap holds for Iggy and Lou respectively)

With 8% increases...

15.312(average per year)

Doesn't seem like a terrible offer to me.

The NBAPA estimates the cap at 58.5(via Givony's blog, which would mean the Sixers would offer like .55 less per year)

This decision has to be about winning, or at least the fact that the Clippers have done nothing to get better since making the playoffs a couple years ago. I'd think that if he sees the Sixers as a team on the rise, and a team committed to winning, that would be more than enough money.

I would love to get brand but i think id rather go after Josh Smith. If we get brand we would be a top 3 or 4 team in the east but still wouldnt be championship contenders and may not be at all during brands contract. Stefanski keeps talking about building like the pistons with a faster tempo with a bunch of really good players and if they get smith the team could grow into the top team in the east instead of a top 3 or 4.

First off, I think Josh Smith would be a mistake for this team. I think he has character issues, could hurt the development of our younger players, and doesnt contribute enough at an efficient rate on the offensive end. In short I doubt he raises this teams ceiling high enough to justify what we would have to pay him to sign aboard.

That said...I got absurdly excited when I read the news that Elton Brand had opted out. Brand is the #1 scoring option AND the low post presence that this team needs to ascend to the next level. The reason why is such...

When the sixers were at their best last season there was a common thread in that someone (whether it be Andre Miller, Thad, Sammy, Lou Williams, or even *shudder* Willie Green) stepped up offensively and allowed AI to offensively compliment the hot hand. Having Brand on this team makes that event a much more regular occurance. He allows for AI to be a 2nd option, Andre Miller to be #3, and everyone else can pick and choose their spots to put up numbers. Brand anchors the offense down low, allows Sammy to play the high post and shoot from the elbow, and gives the perimiter players increased room to shoot the ball. Adding Brand makes everyone better offensively from where they were last year.

One other note, Brand can be used in concert with the coaching staff to continue the development of Thad, Sammy, and Jason Smith - not to mention Speights. If Marresse thought going up against Horford and Noah in daily practice helped his development, I can't wait to see how he'll grow next to Elton.

Ed, lock him up. Please.

Brand has to be the #1 option. Although I love Josh Smith, he's not going to create his own offense. I thought the point of Brand was to have someone in the post to command attention spread the offense. If anything Josh would clog the lane. I see Thaddeus Young panning out as a less athletic JS anyway.

If Brand doesn't work out then by all means go after Josh since the Hawks don't have more money than us. Josh and the Sixers are supposed to meet later this week. What would ruin this whole thing is if someone decided to be an ass and take a stab at Lou or Dre, only raising the price.

One question is EB 32 or 29? I've heard both.

He's 29.

If someone signs Iguodala or Williams to an offer sheet a good portion of the Sixers' cap space is immediately eaten up. That could become a problem, and it's also why they need to move very, very quickly.

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