Brand's work ethic this season was nothing but brilliant and his dedication to bouncing back from an injury and putting himself back into the right physical shape was remarkable and it's something that most fans seem to skim over.
But as much as I love Elton Brand, me and every other Sixers fan needs to realize that he does not fit where the franchise is going.
Let me just be clear that it does not have to do with his production as a player, but it is a matter of his salary and the current stage the Sixers standby.
Brand is the highest paid player on the Sixers—$15,959,099 with two years left on his contract.
That's a big chunk of change if you ask me.
It’s already known that the 76ers gave him too much money to begin with, but he has showed that he can play this past season.
However, Brand is 32 going on 33. He is past his prime and last season will most likely end up being his most productive season as a Sixer.
Basically, he will not be getting any better and the money used on him could be used on a younger, more valuable piece to the puzzle.
Brand is 32 years old and next year will most likely be his last most effective one. So I ask you Sixers fan, if the Sixers are not built to win now, then what is the point of keeping Brand?
It's actually quite redundant if you ask me.
And also, the Sixers have many young players that can play the four like Thaddeus Young, Craig Brackins (who has been working his butt off this offseason) and recently drafted Lavoy Allen from Temple.
Next season Brand will be eating away these guys' minutes. Again, I would not have a problem with this if the Sixers were built to win now, but they are not so it is pointless to keep Brand.
If your team is built for the future (like the Sixers) then you want your younger guys (Young, Brackins and Allen) to play with the rest of the younger lineup as much as possible to gain experience and experiment what you have for the future. You do not keep a 32 year old veteran who plays well, but won't be any use because you know you cannot win.
Think of it this way: The Sixers are not built to win now, we know that. But if they start playing the young guys together right now, they will have a boatload of experience four or five years down the road where they will all be at their peaks.
Now it's time to point out the obvious.
The Sixers will not sign or trade for a superstar. No matter how many Andre Iguodala trade rumors swarm around the news, nothing will happen and even if the Sixers do acquire someone like Monta Ellis, they still will not be ready to win now or the following year.
Even if the Sixers do acquire someone like Monta Ellis, they still will not be ready to win now or the following year.
Now, if the Sixers somehow acquired a player who would instantly put us to the top, I would keep Brand because we would be built to win now.
But like I said, a superstar like this is not anywhere close to coming to Philadelphia.
To make things clear, I do not want to get rid of Brand because he is bad, the farthest thing from it actually.
I think the Sixers should trade him simply because it will open minutes for our younger guys and keeping him at the four is nothing but redundant.
It is clear that the Sixers are not built to win next season (if there is one) or the following. The production that Brand would provide would be solid, but at the same time useless. And I would feel bad for Brand because his hard work will be more valuable somewhere else.
Trust me, I love Brand and I wish the best to him here and I will always cheer for him and even one day wish to meet him.
However, Brand does not fit where the franchise his headed and for the next two years when he remains a Sixer, they won't be going too far. And that's not because of Brand, it is because everyone else is young and not ready yet.
He is just a puzzle piece (a very good one) that does not fit in the puzzle.