Philadelpha 76ers: Building the Case for 76ers to Amnesty Elton Brand

Michael FoglianoAnalyst IJune 26, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 10:  Elton Brand #42 of the Philadelphia 76ers and Carlos Boozer #5 of the Chicago Bulls battle for position for a rebound in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on May 10, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers have a lot of potential to make some key moves this offseason. One way in particular is using the amnesty clause on Elton Brand.

For those of you who are uninformed of the amnesty clause, in a nutshell it's this: Teams have the ability to dump a player with a massive contract and not have it count toward their salary cap or pay a luxury tax. It's a get out of jail free card for teams who have an ugly contract.

When I first heard about this, I thought, "Great! Now when the Sixers screw up, they'll have a nice safety net. It's like a real-life undo button."

Philadelphia has yet to use theirs since it was introduced in the new CBA, but now lies the perfect opportunity with Brand, the owner of one of the biggest and ugliest contracts in the NBA.

It has already been rumored for a while now and it was specifically reported by Alex Kennedy via Twitter that the Sixers would use their amnesty clause on Brand. However, there has not been many serious reports after this of something evident to happen.

The 33-year-old power forward is due a colossal $17,059,727 next season, with potential to increase. Take another moment to take in that number again.

As much as I like Brand and the veteran presence he brings to the floor for a young team, the salary is not close to being worth his production and what his future production will be.

This season he averaged 11 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Although not bad, I don't think anyone can disagree that this isn't worth what the Sixers are giving him. Also keep in mind that he averaged just 8.6 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in the postseason.

Being on a team that holds nine players 25 years old or younger, he is the clear outlier.

As he continues to age, there is no evidence that says these numbers will improve instead of just keep declining.

On top of this, the Sixers have the 15th pick in the draft this Thursday night and it has been reported by Bob Cooney of Daily News that the Sixers are looking to draft a big man with their first-round pick.

Since this is the case, then there is no point in keeping Brand if they are looking to add a big man to the squad through the draft. Oh yeah, and don't forget that they also have Lavoy Allen who showed capability in the postseason.

The Sixers always seem to be struggling financially or to never have any cap space. But here is the perfect opportunity to make room and give them a chance to possibly bring in a younger free agent who can help the team.

This is nothing against Brand either. He should be receiving admiration from every Sixers fan after bouncing back from an injury two seasons ago and playing with such a young team that likes to run. 

However, he is just the standard case of a very good player who is aging and naturally declining with that age. Philadelphia needs to accept that there is not much left in him, especially for that amount of money.

Considering he is 33 and on the decline, there is no way he improves and thus no incentive to keep Brand when they can efficiently use that money elsewhere.

With two years left on his contract, the Sixers need to use the amnesty clause fast. It's well-known as a bad contract and unfortunate mistake with some unluckiness to it.

Will the Sixers seize the chance to undo their mistake, though? Well, I can't say I have a confident answer to that question. Let's just hope they don't make the mistake of not seizing the chance to undo a mistake they already made.