NBA Free Agency: Brand agrees to 1-year deal with Atlanta

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavs backup center from last season has decided to join the Hawks on a 1-year contract.

I was probably the biggest Elton Brand cheerleader/supporter last season. I whined when he played only 20 minutes and was generally in a foul mood whenever the Mavericks lost a close game and he wasn't in the closing lineup with Dirk.

For all my bellyaching, Brand wasn't even all that, well, great last season. He worked his ass off, battled hard but deep down, his season was very "meh." Even so, it would have been nice if the Mavs could have retained the backup big, but alas, he's heading to Atlanta. His agent confirmed it today:

Free agent forward Elton Brand is signing a one-year deal with the Hawks, agent David Falk told HoopsHype.

"We think it's a great opportunity for him," Falk said. "I can see him playing 4-5 more years because Elton is serious about his conditioning and, besides, he plays more with his head than his body at this point. Atlanta is a good fit and Elton will be a good veteran presence there."

It's sad to see Brand go. He really fought hard in Dallas, despite his athletic gifts departing him. He was the only Mavs big that was worth a damn on defense or on the boards. But, he also posted a 15.2 PER, a true-shooting percentage under 50 and the Mavs defense was still fairly bad whether he was on or off the court, according to NBA.com.

That wasn't all Brand's fault, who had to account for all the defensive mistakes Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo and Dirk made last season. He'll be a great back up for the Hawks. I wish him well.

Oh and here's the Mavs conspiracy angle: "OMG WE DIDN'T SIGN BRAND THAT MUST MEAN WE GOT SOMETHING COOKING FOR ANOTHER CENTER I BET IT'S ODEN OR MAYBE IT'S WILT CHAMBERLIN #MFFL"

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