As many know, last weekend, word leaked that the Philadelphia 76ers were planning to amnesty Elton Brand, in the wake of various roster moves that made his bloated $18 million salary apparently too great a burden to carry.
What most of our readers are also already aware of is that, shortly after, the Dallas Mavericks surfaced as a team very interested in acquiring Brand:
League executives believe Dallas, a rare big-market team with cap room, is the odds-on favorite to pluck Elton Brand off the amnesty wire.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 6, 2012
Brand's game has been touched on already today, so I'll be brief and say that this is the kind of player Dallas desperately needs right now. A productive veteran who can provide defense and, most importantly, a few baskets here and there. As a fit, while there may be some who look at Brand's listed height(6'8-6'9) and think "well, he's a power forward like Dirk", Brand has played small-ball center a lot in his career, and well. He has extremely long arms, a tree-trunk base, and is still pretty quick for a big guy. Philadelphia boasted one of the league's best defenses when Brand was on the floor. He is not the rebounder he was in his pre-injury days, but the total package is still worthy of employment.
So, how does Dallas get him?
When the NBA offices open for business and free agency officially starts on Wednesday, Philadelphia will formally submit the amnesty paperwork for Brand. At that point, there will be a silent auction for his services, with teams offering sealed bids. The highest bid wins Brand and that number will represent his salary for next season. This process, from my understanding, will take 48 hours, and if Dallas delivers the winning bid, they will 1) have to clear the needed cap space for him immediately, and 2) NOT be able to trade him at any point this season.
The first point might give some insight into why Dallas has remained so quiet on the free agent signing front, as they are likely waiting to find out if they acquire Brand before making moves that might prevent them from having the needed space to keep him. I think we can expect that sometime around Friday the 13th(gulp), we will see a sudden flurry of activity from the Dallas front office. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it can't possibly have come too soon.