12:48am: The sigining is official, the team announced via press release.
11:45am: Brand confirms that he’ll sign with the Sixers in a piece written for Sports Illustrated’s “The Cauldron” blog, noting that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski helped convince him to return to play. “I’m not coming here to hold Jahlil [Okafor]’s hand — or anyone else’s, for that matter — because that’s not what he needs,” Brand wrote in part. “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.”
The Sixers are reportedly waiving Christian Wood to make room for Brand, as we detail here.
10:40am: The Sixers plan to sign Elton Brand today, league sources tell Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). It’s not clear what sort of deal Brand will end up with, though it could be a 10-day contract if the sides hold off until Tuesday. TNT’s David Aldridge first reported last month that the Sixers were talking with the former No. 1 overall pick, though it wasn’t clear whether it was about a playing, coaching or front office role. Zach Lowe of ESPN.com identified Brand, who turns 37 in March, as a name to keep an eye on with new chairman of basketball operations Jerry Colangelo seemingly poised to add veterans. Philadelphia has 15 players already, so it would appear a corresponding move will be necessary.
Brand hinted over the summer that he was ready to retire, though he didn’t commit to the idea. He spent the past two seasons as a reserve on the Hawks, but he indicated in August that neither Atlanta nor another NBA team had made him an offer for this season.
The Sixers had Brand for four seasons before waiving him via amnesty in the summer of 2012. The Mavs soon thereafter submitted a partial claim to snag him off amnesty waivers. Philadelphia wasn’t eligible to bring him back while his amnestied contract was still in effect, but it expired in 2013.
Philadelphia has nine fully guaranteed contracts, though the Sixers haven’t been reluctant to waive guaranteed salaries of late, with Tony Wroten‘s Christmas Eve release the latest example. T.J. McConnell and Christian Wood have partially guaranteed salaries but have already earned more than their partially guaranteed amounts, meaning the Sixers wouldn’t owe them any more if they waived them today. Robert Covington, JaKarr Sampson, Ish Smith and Hollis Thompson have non-guaranteed salaries, though none of them appear to be likely waiver candidates.
Do you think Brand is the right veteran influence for the Sixers? Leave a comment to tell us.