It didn’t really sink in until I saw him sitting at the Press Conference with a Sixers logo on his name tag: Elton Brand is a Sixer. A couple days ago, this seemed like an impossibility. Word was that Brand had told the Clippers he would take a pay-cut to allow them to sign, and team him up with, Baron Davis. His other offer, also in California, was for far more money than we could give him. Whether he stayed home, or took the money, we weren’t an option. Yet, there he sat today, next to Ed Stefanski, looking positively menacing in his black suit. It’s easy to see why many Sixers fans spent the day in delighted shock, something we haven’t felt since we acquired Dikembe Mutumbo in 2001.
Not much hasn’t been said about this deal in the comments section of our post below, but here are my thoughts as I know how to put them best, in bullet-point form.
- When the off-season started, I wanted Josh Smith over Elton Brand. But, now that we have Brand, I feel much more confident in how good this team can be than I would have felt if we got Smith. With Smith, I would have been excited about the highlight reel dunks during the game, and his potential over the years. But I still wouldn’t see him as a #1 guy on a championship caliber team, I think we would have been looking for more than just a shooter to complete the puzzle.
- As I’m sure everyone has heard, the only active players who average 20 points and 10 rebounds for their careers are Brand, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Garnett. The other 3 guys have won 9 of the last 10 championships since Jordan from the Bulls. I don’t think Josh Smith is on any lists like that.
- Brand is also a VERY efficient player. In his last 5 full seasons, Brand was 9th in the NBA in PER (Player Efficiency Rating) behind only Garnett, Duncan, Nowitzki, Shaq, Kobe, T-Mac, Wade and LeBron.
- The only season Brand played with Andre Miller, for the Clippers, Brand made one of his two all-star appearances.
- The only time the Sixers have ever had a player average, for a single season, what Brand has averaged for his career (20 pts, 10 rebs, 2 blks and 50% shooting), was Moses Malone…in 1983…do we all remember what happened then?
- The last time the Sixers had 2 players who averaged 2 blocks per game was Shawn Bradley and Manute Bol in 1993-94. I’m not sure what to make of that stat.
- From his rookie year to his last full season, Brand was 12th in NBA in total points, 4th in rebounds and 3rd in blocks.
- The person who I think will benefit most from the arrival of Brand is Samuel Dalembert. There has always been too much pressure on him to score since we’ve gotten zero offensive production from PF. Now, he can just do what he does best and offensive rebound, block shots, and take the occasional alley-oop.
- Elton will be able to run with us. Watching his highlights, he is a lot slimmer than I thought he was.
- There is absolutely no reason, NO reason, why the Sixers shouldn’t go back to the uniforms that Brand is wearing above. They can keep the red the “Phila” jersey’s as an alternate. All the other old, historical teams of the NBA (Celtics, Lakers, Knicks) have relatively the same jerseys they have always had, we should do the same.
- Bottom Line: I think this puts the Sixers in the Top-4 in the East, probably at 2 or 3. Definitely behind Boston, and depending how the rest of the off-season turns out, in the mix with Detroit, Orlando (great signing of Pietrus, by the way) and Cleveland.