Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sixers Reach Out for Brand New Power Forward

The combination of the Phillies' poor play, my sore back, and a roster full of thankless things to do at work was going to compel me to write an epic, Dallas Green-style asskicking of the Phillies today.

I'll leave the rant for later.

Right now, I'm sort of in shock at the fact that the Sixers were able to come to an agreement with free agent power forward Elton Brand on a 5-year/$82 million dollar contract. This deal makes the Sixers instant contenders in the East a year after they wildly overacheived in a relatively weak Eastern Conference.

The first reaction to the deal is the Sixers are obtaining a guy who is a low-post force that they currently do not possess. It will provide Samuel Dalembert with some defensive help down on the blocks. The move allows Thaddeus Young to go to small forward, which allows Andre Iguodala (if the Sixers choose to resign him) to move to shooting guard.

Brand has been somewhat susceptible to injuries over the course of his career, missing chunks of time from 2002-2004 and coming off of a ruptured achillies that he incurred last offseason. But otherwise, this move has nothing but upside for the Sixers.

The next big decisions come with Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams. Do the Clippers (already rumored to be losing Corey Maggette as well) come after Andre Iguodala in a fit of revenge, with an unmatchable offer sheet? Does a team come after Lou Williams with the promises of a starting job, something that might compel Williams to bolt? These are questions that GM Ed Stefanski will be dealing with over the rest of the offseason.

Hopefully, the Brand deal can compel Iguodala and Williams to stay put for now, but that is also the same hope that the Clippers and their fans had when they went out and got Baron Davis.

Conjecture aside, this move represents a tremendous job of shuffling the deck by GM Ed Stefanski. It started with moving Kyle Korver off of the roster to clear space when he got here. It continued even yesterday, moving Calvin Booth, Rodney Carney, and a first round draft pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for cap space. If you combine these roster moves, and consider the movement of personnel in a trade scenario, you have the Sixers getting Elton Brand for Cal Booth, Rodney Carney, Kyle Korver, and a 1st round pick. That's a move any amateur GM would love to pull off.

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