Elton Brand – What A Waste

by Paul Raymond | Posted on Thursday, February 5th, 2009

elton_brandWhat a waste for the Philadelphia 76ers. ESPN is reporting that newly signed power forward Elton Brand will be undergoing season ending surgery on Monday for his ailing shoulder. Brand initially injured the shoulder earlier this season by dislocating it. He didn’t necessarily rush back but he returned to the lineup after only 16 games, with a warning that he could be out for the year if he hurt the shoulder again. While he didn’t necessarily hurt it, he did experience setbacks and just never let it fully heal. And now the Sixers are going to be missing their prized summer acquisition for the rest of the year. But is that a bad thing?

Not necessarily. Brand has been an overall bust for the team. When joining the Sixers he was putting up some monster numbers. Before the injury he averaged about 17 points a game and about 10 rebounds per game, pretty damn good numbers. Unfortunately for the Sixers it didn’t translate into wins. The team was just under 500 at the time of the injury and already on their second coach of the season.

The real problem with Elton Brand was his style didn’t fit this young uptempo team. Before his injury the team was stagnant and not too exciting. Since his departure the team has been about 500 in the standings. Yea, not much of an improvement but the record doesn’t tell the whole story. The team has become exciting again. Last season they snuck into the playoffs by going up uptempo and using their athletic ability to beat teams. What are they doing now? They’re running and having fun on the court, a style that better suits the abilities of the players on the court.


When Brand was signed I seriously doubted that this could help the Sixers. They really need an inside presence but he just didn’t seem like the right fit. Don’t get me run Brand is one of my favorite players in the league but for Philly’s style of play I didn’t see how it could work. The other thing that I didn’t like was the length and amount of his contract. Brand got a five year, $80 million deal. Pretty big for a player who just played nine games last season. His numbers so far in 2008-9 have backed up the dollars, but it still didn’t feel right. Now he’s out and the Sixers on the hook for his contract, almost wasting their money.

Will Brand be a Sixer next season? Most likely. But if I was Philadelphia GM Ed Stefanski, I’d explore some trade options. Brand will be pretty damn difficult to move with the length and dollars left on his contract but they should see what they got. Even before the injury he wasn’t a good fit, and come the 2009-10 season he still won’t be. Ed it’s time to see if you can make a mood.

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