76ers to cut Brand, sign Nick Young
The 76ers plan to use the amnesty clause to release veteran power forward Elton Brand before the final season of his contract worth $18.1 million, league sources confirmed.
Also Friday, the Sixers reached an agreement with shooting guard Nick Young, who will sign a one-year, $6 million deal with the Sixers when the free agency moratorium ends on July 11, according to his agent, Mark Bartelstein.
Brand will still be paid in full, but the Sixers will wipe his contract from their salary cap. Teams with available cap space can bid on Brand via a waiver process once the amnesty is formally used, presumably on July 11. The amount of the winning team's bid -- if there is one -- will be deducted from the salary owed by Philadelphia. If Brand is not picked up via waivers, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Yet while some agents have tried to talk teams out of bidding on their player on waivers in the past by claiming their player won't report if claimed by a team they don't want to play for, Brand's agent, David Falk, said he won't be pulling any power plays in this case. He is hopeful, however, that Brand - who can only be signed for one year with his next team if it's done via waivers - winds up in a good spot.
"He needs to go someplace where he can let people know that he's still capable of being a pretty significant player," Falk said. "Elton Brand is 33 years old, and people act like he's on his last legs. He's a power forward. He doesn't rely on his speed. He relies on smarts. "He can go play four or five more years if he wants to, but he needs to go someplace where he can re-establish himself. I'm going to talk to some people and get a sense. I have a sense of people who like him. We'll talk behind the scenes like I always do, see if we can maneuver him to a good place. We can't control it, but I'm one of those people who believes you can influence it by talking to people."
Teams have one week after July 11 to use their amnesty for the season and can use it only once during the current collective bargaining agreement, which was ratified last December. Brand, 33, is a two-time All-Star who has averaged 18.3 points and 9.4 rebounds over 13 seasons. He averaged career lows of 11 points and 28.9 minutes per game last year.
"Elton's not a 20-minute a game player," Falk said. "He's a 30-minute a game player, maybe a 40-minute a game player. There's a lot of teams that could use a guy like that. Good teams. I think the most important thing for one year is to go someplace and play and show people he's still got a lot left."
As for potential destinations, it may have been telling that Falk focused on a number of teams that don't have salary cap space and would only be options if Brand cleared waivers. It would seem unlikely, but he could privately convince waiver-wire teams to pass on Brand as a way to put the choice back in his hands.
"In a perfect world, for example, if the Lakers wound up with Dwight Howard (in a trade) and traded (Pau) Gasol or (Andrew) Bynum, that would be a great place to go," he said. "If Brooklyn ended up with Dwight Howard, and they have no power forward because they get rid of Kris Humphries, that would be a great place to go. You've got to just look and see the ebb and flow of the trades. San Antonio would be a great place to go. Atlanta (which will have salary cap space after the recent trade with Brooklyn involving Joe Johnson goes through) could be a good place to go, depending on the moves they make. So we're watching all this stuff and trying to figure out where would be good places to go."
Falk confirmed reports that Dallas has interest, but declined to discuss other teams.
"I think (Dallas) is interesting," he said. "You could have an inside-outside kind of deal for one year (with Dirk Nowitzki). I've got my fingers crossed. I'm not going to sit back and do nothing."
He also claimed the Sixers' decision was mostly money-driven.
"(The Sixers) obviously made a decision at the draft (in taking forwards Arnett Moultrie and Maurice Harkless)," Falk said. "They want to get more athletic at the four. (The amnesty move) was financially based. They didn't want to pay a luxury tax for that team, so this enables them to stay under the luxury tax. I don't think they're going to use (the room) to go out and sign Dwight Howard. It's a financial move."
Young, a five-year pro with a career 11.4-point scoring average and 37.8 percent mark from three-point range, gives Philadelphia a perimeter scorer to potentially replace free-agent guard Lou Williams, who tweeted Friday that he won't be coming back to Philadelphia. The 27-year-old Young averaged 14.2 points last season, which he split between the Wizards and Clippers, who traded for him in March.
Yahoo! Sports first reported the Sixers' decision to amnesty Brand.