Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Au Revoir, Elton Brand


Elton Brand and Andre Miller have been reunited. Thoughts here, here, and here.

A brief re-cap:

Elton Brand opted out of the last year of his contract with the Clippers, worth around $16.4 million. He said he wanted to re-sign with the Clippers but wanted them to make moves that showed they'd be able to win. He event hinted that he was willing to take less pay if it meant a better team.

Baron Davis opted out of $17.8 million from the Warriors and verbally committed to a 5 year ($65 million) deal with the Clippers. It sure looked like that was the kind of move that would bring Brand back.

Philadelphia trades away Rodney Carney for a trade exception, freeing up a few extra million dollars under the cap.

Elton Brand surprises everyone, and signs with the Philadelphia 76ers. The word right now is that the deal is 5 years, $82 million -- about $12 million more than the Clips were said to be offering (although the last story said the Clips had upped their offer to $81 million plus a no-trade clause, in which case it wasn't the money, Brand just didn't want to play for the Clippers as much as he did the 76ers).

And there you have it. At the moment, the 76ers are a solid, exciting team but sorely in need of shooters -- a second round team. Defensively, they are strong down low and at the wings. The Clippers are fun to watch but good for maybe 35 wins -- and suddenly Baron Davis and Chris Kaman seem a bit mismatched. Hmmmn. More on this and other free agent stories as they arise.

A couple of other free agent notes:
  • Corey Maggette is reportedly signing with the Warriors, for 5 years, $50 million. That's probably a bit too much money, but it should be fun to watch Maggette in Oakland. The Warriors were 6th worst in the league last year at getting to the free throw line, and the Clippers were 4th best. Now, the Warriors still had one of the best offenses in the league, but the addition of Maggette should be an upgrade and help them score more easily, especially on the days that their three-pointers aren't falling -- it's not just Maggette going to the line, but getting the other team into the penalty early should help everybody shoot more free throws. They still need a point guard, though, and I'm curious to see how Stephen Jackson and Corey Maggette are handled, since both seem like they should be playing the 3 position. One good thing offensively is that the Warriors have an offense that's based on isolations and mismatches, so Maggette's offensive weaknesses (passing, playing off the ball) won't really hurt them, while his strengths (scoring, getting to the free throw line, getting by his man and getting to the basket) should be accentuated. (For Lakers fans, the story about Maggette's offer includes a rumor that the Warriors are making a 4 year, $16 million offer to Rony Turiaf). Anyways, the Warriors still have some money to spend and they have to sign their own free agents, so I'll hold off any further analysis of this move to see how they end up looking.
  • The Orlando Magic paid way too much money for Mikael Pietrus. Yes, he can guard the swing positions. He also steps out of bounds every other time he gets the ball in the corner. Anyways, the overpaying won't hurt them this year, but a few years down the line if they haven't won a championship, Rashard Lewis and Mikael Pietrus (and perhaps Jameer Nelson) are going to feel mighty heavy.
I'm sure there will be plenty more happening in the hours and days ahead.

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