The 76ers are reportedly making a roster move today and instead of surveying the D-League in the hopes of a scrap heap find, the franchise is signing former All-Star and former Sixer Elton Brand, per Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania:
The Philadelphia 76ers plan to sign veteran forward Elton Brand today, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 4, 2016
Bringing in a veteran presence has been suspected for sometime ever since Jerry Colangelo joined the Sixers' front office brass with the intention of improving the major PR hit the team's taken over the last few seasons while also possibly adding a few more wins in the short term. After a rare in-depth interview with Sam Hinkie back in December, ESPN's Zach Lowe even speculated that Brand would be the one brought in, writing:
That's one change you can expect under new chairman of basketball operations Jerry Colangelo, and possibly before Christmas. The Sixers are going to sign another veteran to guide the flock. Keep an eye on Elton Brand.
With young big men galore on the Sixers' roster, the team likely views Brand as a stabilizing presence to help nurture Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid at the early developmental stages of their careers, maybe necessary given the trouble his fellow Blue Devil has gotten into over the last few months.
Brand most recently played for the Hawks last year, appearing in 36 games. Prior to his two seasons in Atlanta, Brand was with the Mavericks for a single season after the Sixers used the amnesty clause on him prior to the 2012-13 season.
No word yet has been given on the corresponding move that will allow Brand to join the Sixers, given that their roster is at max capacity.
UPDATED: Brand took to Sports Illustrated's The Cauldron to illustrate why he's returning to the NBA and why he's joining the Sixers in his "adopted hometown" of Philadelphia.
Here are some of the most noteworthy pieces and tidbits from Brand:
[My decision to return is] about repaying what’s owed, about making sure that the young men who follow in my footsteps get what they’re entitled to (and what I haven’t always given them).
Now, here in Philadelphia, my adopted hometown, I’m excited to have a chance to do things differently — be a positive influence and help the organization get back on track.
You might’ve noticed we’ve got a pretty talented kid on the roster in Jahlil Okafor, someone I happen to share some things in common with. Despite how he’s been portrayed, I know Jahlil. He’s a good kid with a good heart. He’s not unlike most 20-year-olds you probably know, and he’s definitely not at all different than most of his fellow players. Hell, if camera phones were around when Brad Miller, Ron Artest, and I were Jahlil’s age, we might’ve been banned from the league altogether, never mind suspended for a few games.
I’m not coming here to hold Jahlil’s hand — or anyone else’s, for that matter — because that’s not what he needs. But I do believe my experience and wisdom can benefit him and my other young teammates. It’s about communicating with them like men, starting to grow together, and — hopefully, eventually — winning some ballgames. That’s what Sam Hinkie and I talked about when he approached me about joining the team, and what has me so excited about this opportunity.
The whole article from Brand is worth a read.