NBA Rumors: Who Will Claim Elton Brand Off Waivers?

By Michael Terrill

The Philadelphia 76ers have announced they will release two-time NBA All-Star Elton Brand as they prepare to sign free-agent guard Nick Young as well as re-signing center Spencer Hawes.

Brand had a down season last year with the 76ers but the 13-year veteran could play a major role for several teams in the league. Philadelphia was able to release Brand through the amnesty clause, which is a way for teams who did not use the clause last season to waive one player between July 11-17. By doing this, that player’s salary will not exist on the team’s payroll which means it will not affect the salary cap.

The 6-foot-9, 254-pound power forward is still eligible to get his $18 million the 76ers owe him next season, unless of course another team under the salary cap picks him up off waivers or signs him as a free agent if he clears. As I said before, several teams could use an impact player such as Brand off the bench or possibly even start if necessary.

The Dallas Mavericks are certainly one team that could be interested considering they could use someone of his size to help take care of the other big men in the Western Conference. The Mavericks got bullied in the paint last season but with Brand on board it should not happen as frequently. I would say they are the frontrunners for the Brand sweepstakes but stranger things have happened in basketball.

The Indiana Pacers are another team that could use him to get over the hump in the Eastern Conference. They may have no choice but to claim him if they are unable to re-sign Roy Hibbert, especially with the Portland Trail Blazers offering him a max deal. Speaking of Portland, if they are unable to land Hibbert or any other big man they may consider claiming Brand.

If the Orlando Magic decides to trade Dwight Howard then they might consider claiming Brand to get some more size back in the middle. A team such as the Chicago Bulls may go after Brand after their beating in the postseason just to have some insurance off the bench. Both of these teams would have to clear salary cap space but signing Brand could be a difference maker in the playoffs next season.

In 60 games last season, Brand averaged 11.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.6 blocks, and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 49.4% from the field.

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