With the struggling Sixers desperate for leadership on the court and relying on nothing but young players (they are the youngest team in the NBA), the front office finally relented and signed a veteran Monday.
After more than two seasons of trading away anyone with NBA experience (even players in their second seasons) in order to compile assets in the form of draft picks and cap space, Sam Hinkie– with Jerry Coangelo’s guidance no doubt — nabbed free agent Elton Brand.
It’s the second time Brand will play for the 76ers after playing with the team from 2008-2012.
The move makes perfect sense, as he will become a mentor for Sixers youthful big men Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid.
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“It’s about communicating with them like men,” Brand said in a self-written Sports Illustrated piece.”Starting to grow together, and — hopefully, eventually — winning some ballgames. That’s what [general manager] Sam Hinkie and I talked about when he approached me about joining the team, and what has me so excited about this opportunity.”
Brand is not returning to win a championship or to make money — he says he is returning to the floor (after a sting with the Hawks) to pay it forward to the next generation of big men.
Brand has some valuable postseason experience as well, as a leader for the 76ers squads during the end of the last decade.Heaveraged 16 points and eight rebounds for the Sixers in the 2011 NBA Playoffs and averaged 11 points across 18 total playoff games during his tenure in Philadelphia.