Over the next couple of weeks we will evaluate the Sixers' roster following the 10-72 season. First up is Elton Brand.
Status: $890,693 2015-16; unrestricted free agent in 2016
After rejoining the Sixers on Jan. 4, Brand sat out the team's next 25 games as he served his primary role as a veteran mentor and worked his way back into basketball shape.
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When he did touch the court for the first time, Brand had a solid showing with eight points on 3 of 6 shooting with four rebounds in 13 minutes of action during a 112-102 loss to the Miami Heat on March 4.
However, Brand's best game in his second stint with the franchise came on April Fools' Day, only this was no joke. The former No. 1 overall pick turned back the clock against the Charlotte Hornets with a double-double.Brand recorded 13 points (5 of 9 shooting) and 11 rebounds in a season-high 24 minutes.
Brand in 2015-16
Brand's contribution to the Sixers this season was never going to be measured by anything he actually did on the floor. Brought in to be a role model for the NBA's youngest roster, the 17-year vet did that and more.
Brand provided the Sixers' players with invaluable advice such as how to handle yourself like a professional at all times, ways to approach preparing for games and help on how to deal with the mounting losses during the massive rebuild. He even went as far as to lend one his cars to rookie Jahlil Okafor.
That's not to say Brand didn't give the Sixers what he could when his number was called. Thrust into action down the stretch because of numerous injuries to the frontline, the 37-year-old showed the same hustle and determination he always did, even if the athleticism was long gone.
Brand averaged 4.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists during 13.2 minutes per game in 17 appearances for the Sixers. Not the 20 points and 10 boards the Old School Chevy was known for in his prime, but more than enough for a guy who was sitting on the couch for half the season.
Brand wasn't quite ready to definitively say his career was over at the end of the season, but it sure appears to be that way. Perhaps if a contender would come calling next season the way the Atlanta Hawks did when he spent the past two seasons with them, Brand would listen. If not, he has given his body and soul to the game and can proudly walk away.
On Elton Brand
"He's amazing to me because I really didn't know what to expect. I thought he had practiced well, but we practice so infrequently, you're not making that judgement on a high volume of appearances. You're reminded of how good he was because he's so smart. He really knows how to play." - Brett Brown
"... I think this is going to be it. We'll see what the opportunities are, but the travel's tough having young kids. I didn't expect play 25 minutes in back-to-back games and stuff like that. But we'll see what the opportunities are I have." - Brand