Elton Brand was selected with the first overall pick of the 1999 NBA Draft. Since then, he has played 14 years in the league for what is now five separate franchises. As he enters his 15th year in the NBA with his fifth franchise, the Atlanta Hawks, at 34 years old, he’s the oldest man on the roster. Just because he’s the grizzled veteran, though, doesn’t mean he’s ready to take a backseat.
In a recent profile by Lang Greene of HOOPSWORLD, Brand talked about how he has no plans to retire after this season and how he still thinks he can contribute to this Hawks team. Brand said that he’s “not to that point” where he’s content playing minimal minutes and that he still thinks he has something to bring to the table.
With the Dallas Mavericks last season on a one-year deal, Brand saw the smallest workload of his career, playing only 21.2 minutes per game. Coming into a situation in Atlanta where he will not only be playing behind Al Horford and Paul Millsap, but will also be battling for reserve minutes in the frontcourt with Gustavo Ayon and Pero Antic.
In his lone season with the Mavs, Brand was still relatively productive despite his age and more limited role than he has been accustomed to. In 72 games last season, he averaged 7.2 points, six rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting a respectable 47.3 percent from the floor.
Brand may be getting some gray in his hair soon, but it’s not a reach by any means to say that he could be productive off of the bench in Atlanta. The Hawks, as they rebuild after letting Josh Smith go this summer. He still has respectable ability on both ends of the floor and on the glass. His workload may not be what it used to be, but Brand should still be a contributor with the Hawks.
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