Player Review: Elton Brand

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks Player Review series continues with a look at Elton Brand.

The NBA season is officially over, which means soon the draft quickly approaches and that free agency looms just over the horizon. As Dallas faces many tough questions about the future of the franchise, evaluating the roster and decided who should and shouldn't stay becomes paramount.

In early October, we looked at one of the newest Mavs, forward/center Elton Brand. Sufficed to say, I was excited about this addition, as Brand was a personal favorite and the type of player that seemed ideally suited to Maverick basketball. How exactly did he pan out? Well, first:

A quick recap:

Elton Brand arrived in Dallas with quite a resume. A #1 overall pick in 1999, out of Duke, Brand was Rookie of the Year in Chicago, and a two-time All Star with the Los Angeles Clippers, before signing with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2008. A ruptured Achilles' tendon suffered the year before had sapped much of his explosiveness, but Brand was able to remain a productive player into his 30's, before Philadelphia decided to exercise their amnesty provision on the expensive forward.

Almost immediately, the Dallas Mavericks were rumored to be the leading candidate to sign Brand, as Dallas was in need of frontcourt help and a veteran presence in the locker room. Dallas submitted the winning bid in the silent auction for Brand, as expected, and was pencilled in as the backup center after Chris Kaman was signed. Known for his unparalleled defensive fundamentals and cool demeanor, Brand seemed like the perfect addition to an organization and fanbase still in shock from the loss of the Jasons, Kidd and Terry.

Elton's numbers:

Season Age Tm Lg Pos G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% FT FTA FT% ORB DRB TRB AST STL BLK TOV PF PTS
1999-00 20 CHI NBA PF 81 80 37.0 7.8 16.1 .482 0.0 0.0 .000 4.5 6.6 .685 4.3 5.7 10.0 1.9 0.8 1.6 2.8 3.2 20.1
2000-01 21 CHI NBA PF 74 74 39.3 7.8 16.4 .476 0.0 0.0 .000 4.5 6.4 .708 3.9 6.2 10.1 3.2 1.0 1.6 3.0 3.3 20.1
2001-02 22 LAC NBA PF 80 80 37.8 6.7 12.6 .527 0.0 0.0 4.9 6.6 .742 5.0 6.6 11.6 2.4 1.0 2.0 2.2 3.2 18.2
2002-03 23 LAC NBA PF 62 61 39.6 7.3 14.5 .502 0.0 0.0 .000 3.9 5.7 .685 4.6 6.8 11.3 2.5 1.1 2.5 2.6 3.3 18.5
2003-04 24 LAC NBA PF 69 68 38.7 7.0 14.2 .493 0.0 0.0 .000 6.0 7.7 .773 3.9 6.4 10.3 3.3 0.9 2.2 2.8 3.3 20.0
2004-05 25 LAC NBA PF 81 81 37.0 7.8 15.4 .503 0.0 0.0 .000 4.5 6.0 .752 3.7 5.9 9.5 2.6 0.8 2.1 2.3 3.0 20.0
2005-06 26 LAC NBA PF 79 79 39.2 9.6 18.2 .527 0.0 0.0 .333 5.6 7.2 .775 3.0 7.0 10.0 2.6 1.0 2.5 2.2 2.9 24.7
2006-07 27 LAC NBA PF 80 80 38.5 8.1 15.1 .533 0.0 0.0 1.000 4.4 5.8 .761 3.4 6.0 9.3 2.9 1.0 2.2 2.5 3.0 20.5
2007-08 28 LAC NBA PF 8 6 34.3 6.5 14.3 .456 0.0 0.0 4.6 5.9 .787 2.6 5.4 8.0 2.0 0.4 1.9 2.1 2.6 17.6
2008-09 29 PHI NBA PF 29 23 31.7 5.6 12.6 .447 0.0 0.0 2.5 3.7 .676 2.7 6.1 8.8 1.3 0.6 1.6 2.3 2.7 13.8
2009-10 30 PHI NBA PF 76 57 30.2 5.4 11.3 .480 0.0 0.0 .000 2.3 3.1 .738 2.4 3.7 6.1 1.4 1.1 1.1 1.7 3.1 13.1
2010-11 31 PHI NBA PF 81 81 34.7 6.2 12.1 .512 0.0 0.0 .000 2.6 3.4 .780 2.9 5.4 8.3 1.5 1.1 1.3 1.2 3.0 15.0
2011-12 32 PHI NBA C 60 60 28.9 4.8 9.7 .494 0.0 0.0 .000 1.4 1.9 .733 2.4 4.7 7.2 1.6 1.0 1.6 1.1 2.9 11.0
2012-13 33 DAL NBA C 72 18 21.2 3.1 6.6 .473 0.0 0.0 .000 0.9 1.3 .710 1.8 4.2 6.0 1.0 0.7 1.3 0.8 2.7 7.2
Career NBA 932 848 35.2 6.8 13.6 .500 0.0 0.0 .118 3.8 5.2 .738 3.4 5.7 9.1 2.2 0.9 1.8 2.1 3.0 17.4

So, on the hole, Brand had a pretty decent season, fairly in line with his recent output. However, there are a few regression points that suggest the cliff may be approaching.

Firstly, there was Brand's durability. Brand got off to a very slow start to the year, shooting under 34% though November and looking a step or two slow on defense. Though he did catch fire in the mid part of the season, he cooled off again at the end, and was sat most of April due to fatigue. His 21 minutes a game were a career low brought on partly by lack of opportunity but also clearly by lack of stamina

Statistically, Brand rebounded well(this may be because of who he shared his frontcourt minutes with) and put up block and steal rates in line with his career norms, but a career low usage rate and true shooting percentage was highlighted by a lousy percentage of shots taken at the rim(certainly for a center). Essentially, this means that while Brand's smarts and super long arms and hands allowed him to make plays on defense, his offensive game continues to become more one-dimensional.

In terms of team defense, Brand's reputation coming to Dallas was as an elite help defender and extremely underrated post defender who plus/minus and synergy routinely considered among the game's best. Brand did not quite live up to that reputation. According to 82 games, Dallas defended better with Brand off the floor(not enough to call it a distinct advantage), and Brand's opponent-PER was 17.2, after registering a more respectable 15.4 the year before.

My eyeballs told me that some of this data might be punishing Brand for the defensive shortcomings the team had on the perimeter. Dallas routinely had penetration wreak havoc in the middle of the lane, creating easy dump off or second chance shot opportunities. Still, it isn't unreasonable to think that after a 14-year career in the NBA, Brand is reaching the point where his experience and instincts can no longer adequately make up for his near-total absence of athleticism.

What to expect going forward:

Brand can probably still offer a team something as a third big, at least for one more season. He's universally respected for his leadership and intelligence on and off the floor. Those two things would, in a vacuum, make him a solid candidate to bring back, especially given the uncertainty surrounding the center position. However, Brand has a hefty cap hold of $19 million that is certain to be renounced, and it is difficult to know exactly how much Dallas would pay to keep the undersized Brand around. Or how much of a paycut Brand would be willing to take to stay.

Given how long it's going to take for Dallas to iron out their roster, I'm going to wager Brand ends up somewhere else. But, if there is mutual interest going on behind the scenes, Brand could be a fine locker room presence as Dallas continues their rebuilding process.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Mavs Moneyball

You must be a member of Mavs Moneyball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mavs Moneyball. You should read them.

Join Mavs Moneyball

You must be a member of Mavs Moneyball to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Mavs Moneyball. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker