|Last week I wrote about Baron Davis joining the Clippers, and mused about whether that brought the Clippers up to the level of teams like the Hornets or Jazz. One little problem...I was assuming that Elton Brand was going to stay with the team to play with him. As we found out last night, that was a bad assumption as apparently Brand is heading to Philly to join Andre Iguodala on the Sixers. So, what does that mean?
On a real-life basketball front, it means that the Clippers' dreams of joining the NBA elite have dimmed while the Sixers are a legitimate threat in the East. Last season Philadelphia was a bit of a gimmick playoff team, using superior athleticism and fast break basketball to finish the season strong and give Detroit something to think about in the playoffs. The biggest weakness on the team was a legitimate scorer/rebounder at power forward, and they just filled that need with a top-5 PF in the league. While the Sixers are still unlikely to challenge the Celtics or possibly Pistons for the Eastern crown, adding Brand puts them right in the midst of Cleveland and Orlando as a threat to grab home-court advantage and possibly make some postseason noise.
On a fantasy basketball front this is great news for Chris Kaman and Al Thornton, each of whom would have lost touches with Brand in LA. As it stands now, Kaman could build on his breakout from last season and possibly be a 20/10 guy while Thornton should also score in the mid-teens barring a sophomore slump. Even if the Clippers are able to later sign an impact PF like Josh Smith or Emeka Okafor, neither of them are the offensive presence that Brand was which means that the rest of the Clippers frontline should see more shots.
On the Philadelphia side, Brand should help them add a more efficient half-court offense to supplement what should still be a strong fast-break game. Brand should remain his 20/10 self, while Iguodala may score fewer points but with higher shooting percentages (and maybe fewer turnovers). I would also expect Thaddeus young to move to small forward this year and likely start, making him a fantasy sleeper.
On the whole, this was a very interesting turn of events. Side question: does Brand leaving the Clippers after they brought in Davis to fill his demand that the team improve compare to Carlos Boozer leaving the Cavs high and dry to sign with Utah? Brand is certainly not the favorite of Clipper nation right now...does this move tarnish him in your eyes?
Posted by Professor at 7/9/2008 12:08:00 PM