Elton Brand to 76ers: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2016

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 20:  Elton Brand #7 of the Atlanta Hawks shoots a free throw against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game One of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2015 NBA Playoffs on May 20, 2015 at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.  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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

The Philadelphia 76ers and Elton Brand agreed to a contract Monday as the moribund franchise continues its attempt to change its culture, the veteran forward announced in a column at the Cauldron.Β 

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports first reported the news.

Brand, 36, last played for the Atlanta Hawks in 2014-15. He averaged 2.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 36 appearances. The former Duke star had announced his retirement in August after being unable to sign with a team in free agency.Β 

While this move will officially end that retirement, the Sixers are not signing Brand for his on-court contributions. His main contribution will be serving as a veteran mentor for a youth-laden roster that's struggled to find a leading voice. David Aldridge of NBA.com reported the team contacted Brand and Shane Battier for potential mentorship roles last month.

The move coincides with a shift away from general manager Sam Hinkie's so-called "Process." Philadelphia has already brought in Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry Colangelo for an overarching organizational role and signed Mike D'Antoni as a key assistant for head coach Brett Brown. Those moves came amid a historically bad start on the court and a disconcerting one off of it, particularly regarding first-round pick Jahlil Okafor.

Brand will give Okafor a sounding board as a veteran with a semi-similar skill set, and the pair already have a Duke connection. The team hopes Brand will serve a similar role as the one played last season by Jason Richardson, whom Hinkie has admitted the Sixers miss.

"We miss Jason Richardson," Hinkie told ESPN.com's Zach Lowe. "For sure, you look back on things now, and you wish you would have had someone who could have helped us right the ship during this injury situation."

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There is no reasonable person who expects Brand to have any discernible on-court impact. His playing time will be limited to garbage timeβ€”and that's if he even sees the floor whatsoever. It's likely the Sixers signed him as a player rather than a special assistant to entice him from a financial perspective and make his voice mean more in the locker room.

Brand spent four seasons with the Sixers from 2008-12, serving as a high-cost symbol of failure from the previous regime. Now, his return to the City of Brotherly Love may serve as a beacon of light in the darkness of the current one.

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