In a move that came completely out of left field (sound familiar in the Danny Ferry era?), the Hawks have reportedly agreed on a 1-year contract with former All-Star big man Elton Brand.
The news was first broken via Twitter from HoopsHype:
Elton Brand is headed to Atlanta, agent David Falk tells HoopsHype. It’s a one-year deal.
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) July 15, 2013
Getting a first-hand account directly from Brand’s agent is generally pretty solid, and it seems as if the Hawks have addressed their need for another back-up big man. Brand has taken a few steps back in his increasing age (he is now 34), but he has been effective player in recent seasons after at an All-Star level for several seasons. Here is the direct quote from Falk via 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.”
Last season, Brand played in 72 games for the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 7.2 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in just 21 minutes of floor time. His defensive instincts are tremendous, and he has managed to average 1.8 blocks per game (1.3 last season) despite a modest 6-foot-9 frame. At this stage, his biggest offensive weapon is probably a pick-and-pop jump shot, but he’s a quality rebounder who provides insurance for Millsap and company as long as his minutes are limited.
This isn’t the “perfect” fit for Atlanta, as Brand doesn’t fill the need for legitimate size behind Al Horford, but he was certainly one of the best front-court players available on the market. I love this move, and this is another perfect example of Danny Ferry finding value from virtually nowhere.
Welcome to Atlanta, Elton Brand.
Addendum: Peachtree Hoops’ Robby Kalland has reported confirmation of the Brand report, and Brand has agreed to the 1-year contract per an official release from the Atlanta Hawks. Danny Ferry’s quote is as follows:
“Elton brings a veteran presence both on and off the court and is a welcomed addition to our locker room,” Ferry said. “His ability to play center or power forward will give our frontcourt a great deal of versatility and we think he will be an outstanding fit to our program.”