The Sixers front-court got a little less crowded with the recent cut of Carl Landry. That changed this afternoon, with the team reportedly bringing back veteran big man Elton Brand on a one-year deal.
The news comes courtesy of The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
Free agent Elton Brand has signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, league source tells @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) September 7, 2016
This one is a bit of a head-scratcher. Philadelphia is not operating with a dearth of veterans this season; between Sergio Rodriguez, Gerald Henderson and Jerryd Bayless, the 76ers got a big boost of experience over the summer. Brand’s role as a stabilizing force independent of basketball contributions already appeared to have been filled.
If it turns out his deal is guaranteed, this seems like a weird way to use roster spots for a team with precious few to use. There are several talented players with upside who could conceivably be on the roster bubble a month from now, and Brand’s assumed spot on the team will only make that predicament worse. If the team isn’t planning on keeping him on the roster beyond the preseason, the motivation is even less clear beyond using him to inch toward the salary floor.
Brand isn’t going to demand minutes at this age, so it wouldn’t be harmful for development to have him around, but this is a pretty strange move considering their roster crunch. Keeping him around at the cost of a developmental spot doesn’t seem like the best allocation of resources.
UPDATE: The deal is reportedly non-guaranteed, according to CSN Philly’s Jessica Camerato:
The Sixers signed veteran Elton Brand. It is a one-year, non-guaranteed deal according to sources.— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoCSN) September 7, 2016