Elton Brand was recently paired up with one of his good friends from the NBA, Baron Davis. Davis was the piece that was going to create another good team in Los Angeles. Davis and Brand were going to be the forces that engineered a deep playoff run.
Brand had given his word to his club, and his friend, that he was going to re-sign with the Clippers. Just ask the Cavaliers how promises work out.
Brand took a page out of Carlos Boozer's book, and has reportedly signed with the Philadelphia 76ers.
According to ESPN.com, NBA front-office sources are reporting that Brand has verbally agreed to a five-year, $82 million deal with the Sixers, which pretty much leaves the Clippers—and Baron Davis—out to dry.
The Sixers created cap space by trading Rodney Carney and Calvin Boothe, along with a future first-round pick—while not taking back any salaries in return, which gave them plenty of room to offer big bucks to Brand.
However, stories differ depending on which source you are asking. Some have said Brand is "70-30" towards going to the Sixers. Another said that the Clippers were tossing around the idea of increasing the five-year, $75 million deal that had been offered to Brand. And another said that Brand "wants to go East."
This move adds even more power to an already promising Sixers roster with other proven players such as Andre Igoudala and Andre Miller. Now, expect the Sixers to at least make their way past the first round of the playoffs, and maybe even go deeper.
With Detroit seemingly a year or two away from a collapse, the Sixers could be there to scoop up the mantle as second-best team in the East behind the Boston Celtics.
But Brand's move seems to not only be a business and contention decision. The switch to the East Coast moves Brand closer to his East Coast relatives—and with his wife pregnant, this is an ideal situation for Brand from a family perspective.
With no more Brand in the picture, he seems to have completed his goal of freeing up cap space—only he was originally freeing up the space so they could build around him.
The former first-overall pick has also been entertaining an offer from the Golden State Warriors, who were trying to steal back a player from the team that took their star, and Brand was reportedly offered a deal worth $90 million over five years. However, the move would have not only hurt the Clippers, but taken an especially large toll on Davis, who would have had his friend just leave the team he joined for the team he left.
No official announcements can be made until Wednesday, when the official free-agency period begins—but expect an announcement saying that Brand is officially a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.
I'm Joe W.