Elton Brand to Hawks: Atlanta Signs Veteran Big Man to 1-Year Deal

Tim KeeneyContributor IJuly 15, 2013

Elton Brand has agreed to extend his NBA career for at least one more year, agreeing to a single-season pact with the Atlanta Hawks. The team confirmed the agreement on its Twitter account.

News of the big man's deal first came via Brand's agent David Falk, who informed HoopsHype of the agreement.

Brand is undoubtedly on the final legs of what's been a terrific 14-year NBA career, but he can still fill a valuable role in this league.

The 34-year-old suffered through arguably his worst-ever offensive season in his first year with the Dallas Mavericks, averaging a career-low 7.2 points per game (12.2 points per 36 minutes) on 47.3 percent shooting in 2011-12.

In his second season playing mostly center, though, he continued his evolution into a stingy defensive player. Despite being only 6'8" and 275 pounds, Brand did a marvelous job controlling the paint.

After averaging 1.2 steals and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes while with the Philadelphia 76ers, he bumped those numbers up slightly to 1.2 and 2.1 respectively with the Mavs. Moreover, in those two seasons, he put together defensive ratings of 96 and 102, two of the three best marks of his career.

Simply put, while the two-time NBA All-Star and co-Rookie of the Year started just 18 games and averaged 21.2 minutes per contest—the latter a career low—last season, he is still a serviceable player in the post.

Although he struggled offensively at times, he was still efficient on the offensive end in limited minutes. Defensively and on the glass—he averaged the third-most rebounds per 36 in his career last season—he is arguably as productive as he was in his prime.

Throw in the fact that he's a consummate professional willing to accept a lesser role and be a veteran presence in the locker room, and this is a fantastic signing late in the free-agency period.