NBA rumors: Sixers bring back Elton Brand

Adrian Wojnarowski: Free agent Elton Brand has signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, league source tells @The Vertical.

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The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Elton Brand. Over 17 NBA seasons, Brand has appeared in 1,058 career games with 868 starts, posting averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game. He has played 34,910 career minutes, which ranks him 67th all-time. Brand was also the recipient of the 2005-06 Joe Dumars Trophy, presented each season to the player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.
Jessica Camerato: The Sixers signed veteran Elton Brand. It is a one-year, non-guaranteed deal according to sources.
It’s unlikely that Brand will see these in-arena Sixers employees again any time soon. He came out of retirement in January to lend a veteran voice to a room of inexperienced players. He got more than he had hoped for. “Yeah, I got real sore and real tired and frustrated. I got everything I wanted,” Brand said, chuckling. “I got to know these guys and help the organization any way I could. I had a good time.”
Brett Brown joked Wednesday that Elton Brand is "in incredible shape and looks 22" after Brand's first practice with the 76ers. Two days after signing a veterans' minimum contract, the 36-year-old Brand said he felt fine after making it through a two-hour workout. But the two-time all-star and the Sixers know his second stint here isn't likely to involve much playing time. It's about mentoring a bunch of young NBA players on a team with a 4-33 record. "Elton has a history that will warrant respect," Brown said. "He's just a trusted voice. He's calculated on when he's going to talk. And he knows silence isn't a bad thing."
Elton Brand: I know what you’re thinking. Dude, you’ve made over $167 million in your career. You’re not a good player anymore. No one wanted to sign you. What possible reason could you have for joining the Sixers, a team with a 3–33 record?! The truth is, my decision to return to the NBA isn’t about money, and it isn’t about rings. It isn’t even about me, really, although every athlete would like to go out on his or her own terms. It’s 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).
Elton Brand: It’s not so much that I failed the guys I was tasked with mentoring over the years; it’s that I barely even tried. I never took the time to share the legendary Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s writing with them. I never sincerely answered their questions about what David West was trying to warn them about during NBPA meetings. I didn’t tell them why they should be reading Etan Thomas’ essays. I was simply too busy following the NBA blueprint that had been engrained in me from the beginning: Play well, keep your head down, offend as few people as possible, and get paid. 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.
Elton Brand: 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.
Elton Brand: It’s not like I didn’t have options after no one signed me last summer. I was offered a front-office job. I passed on TV gigs and other media opportunities. But as an athlete who wasn’t quite ready not to be an athlete, nothing really felt like the right move. That doesn’t mean there weren’t signs that it might be time to move on. As playing careers advance, there is a unique push-pull that develops between the supreme confidence in our own abilities and the slowly creeping realization that our skills can’t last forever. Usually, though, it’s events off the court that illuminate your mortality on it.
The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team has agreed to terms with free agent forward Elton Brand. Brand has played 16 seasons in the NBA, most recently two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks (2013-2015). He has appeared in 1,041 career NBA games and made 867 starts, posting averages of 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks per game. His 34,685 career minutes played ranks him 70th all-time in NBA history. Brand was also the recipient of the 2005-06 Joe Dumars Trophy, presented each season to the player who exemplifies the ideals of sportsmanship on the court.
Derek Bodner: Source confirms the #sixers will release Christian Wood to create a roster spot for the signing of Elton Brand.
USA Basketball executive director and former Phoenix Suns CEO Jerry Colangelo, who recently joined the 76ers as chairman of basketball operations, has spoken to Okafor. Philadelphia is also considering adding veteran players to help their young locker room, and has spoken with Elton Brand, Shane Battier, Chuck Hayes and John Lucas III. Okafor also has received mentoring from former and current NBA veterans. "There are a lot of guys that I've been able to speak with and still speak to on just staying focused and being smart," Okafor told Yahoo Sports. "(The advice was), 'Obviously, we are in the NBA and we're going to have fun and things like that. Just be smart and learn from the mistakes.' "
Changes are already afoot. Sources confirmed a Yahoo! Sports report Saturday that the 76ers plan to bring in former Suns, Knicks and Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni within the next few weeks to sit on the Philly bench as associate head coach. Other sources said the Sixers are talking to former star Elton Brand and NBA veteran Shane Battier about joining the organization, hoping to bring in guys with sterling reputations to serve as role models for the young players. "Josh definitely wants to pick up the pace, but some of the people in the organization just don't get it," a league source said over the weekend.
That's one change you can expect under Jerry Colangelo, and possibly before Christmas. The Sixers are going to sign another veteran to guide the flock. Keep an eye on Elton Brand. It's too early to say whether Colangelo's hiring will bring upheaval to Philly's decision-making, or its long-term commitment to The Process. As Ken Berger of CBS Sports reported, lots of executives from other teams are already assuming Colangelo, a famously opinionated basketball legend, has supplanted Hinkie in the decision-making chain -- to the point that Hinkie might be perceived as a lame-duck.
Brand, a Peekskill High graduate, has completed 16 seasons playing professional basketball, and he’s not sure if he will be returning to the court with the NBA for a 17th year. “So far, I haven’t gotten the phone call,” he said during a break in the Youth Day basketball clinic. He’s noncommittal about retirement plans. “We’ll see what happens,” he said.
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