The Sixers announced Wednesday the release of veteran center Kwame Brown, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2001 NBA draft.
Brown, 31, was on the books for $2.9 million this season and Philadelphia will swallow that amount even though the 12-year center hasn't suited up yet this season because of a hamstring injury.
The release amounts to another step in the dismantling of the Sixers roster assembled by former coach Doug Collins. Although Brown didn't represent the most destructive move of the Collins era (that title goes to Andrew Bynum), his signing turned out to be a disaster through and through. Brown appeared in just 22 games for the Sixers last season after signing a two-year, $5.8 million contract in July 2012, and he averaged just 1.9 points and 3.4 rebounds per game.
All told, Brown scored just 41 total points during his year-plus with the Sixers, meaning Philadelphia paid him more than $140,000 per point.
Things got so bad for Brown, who has long been labeled as a draft bust, that a Bucks County Courier Times reporter asked new Sixers GM Sam Hinkie last week why the veteran center was still on the team.
"That’s the most inappropriate question I ever heard," Hinkie replied. "Why would you ask that about an NBA player? Why would you ask that of a GM of an NBA team?"
It didn't take long for Hinkie to provide the answer to his own questions.
Although Brown hasn't appeared in a game since February, as he was pinned to the pine during a long stretch of DNP-CDs last season, he is theoretically a candidate to be picked up by a team in need of a minimum salary interior presence. He is now three years from removed from his last meaningful role -- as a starter for the Bobcats in 2010-11 -- so any interested suitors will approach him with tempered expectations.
"Kwame's injuries got the better of him," Sixers coach Brett Brown said, according to USA Today Sports. "Through his injuries, he was never really able to get on the court. We wish him well. I'm convinced that if he can find a career-best fitness level, that he still has value. A big man that can move like he moves, he is valuable. He's too big and mobile not to if he can get in great shape. So we made the decision to open up roster spots and we have a little bit of flexibility and we wish both of them well."Philadelphia also released guard Darius Morris on Wednesday to create roster spots that were used to sign Elliot Williams, a 2010 first-round pick whose career has been sabotaged by injuries, and Lorenzo Brown, a 2013 second-round pick.