Mavericks forward Brand moves towards the basket as he is defended by Clippers forward Barnes during their NBA game in Dallas

Report: Knicks expected to make contract offer for Elton Brand


The Knicks can’t offer a lot of money, but they can offer a potentially bigger role on the team.

The Knicks have spoken to Elton Brand and are expected to make him a contract offer, tweets Jared Zwerling of The mutual interest was confirmed by Howard Beck at the New York Times, although he says nothing is imminent (a deal couldn’t be signed until July 10, anyway).

Still, the Dallas Mavericks are considered the favorite to re-sign Brand. He played 21 minutes a game for them, averaging 7.2 points and 6 rebounds a game.

West grew up in New York, so there are ties there. Also, with the Knicks front court rotation after Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler is a bit unsettled — Amar’e Stoudemire will be back but on a minutes limit, likely not playing back-to-backs — and then there is Andrea Bargnani, who will be hanging at the three point line. There are minutes to be had for Brand, who was solid if not spectacular last season.

The Dallas roster situation is a lot more fluid, it hinges on the mood and decision making of Dwight Howard.

The issue is money — the most the Knicks could offer is the taxpayer’s mid-level exception of $3.2 million. Brand wisely sounds like he is going to be patient and see what other offers come in before making his decision.

James Harden: “I am the best player in the league. I believe that.”

James Harden, Stephen Curry
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James Harden was the MVP last season — if you ask his fellow NBA players.

The traditional award (based on a media vote) went to Stephen Curry (in the closest vote in four years), and that was the right call (in my mind). But from the time it happened Harden did not buy it. And he still doesn’t buy it. In the least — and he’s using that as fuel for this season. That’s what he told Fran Blinebury over at

“I am the best player in the league. I believe that,” he said. “I thought I was last year, too.”

Well, it’s a more realistic claim than Paul George’s.

“But that award means most valuable to your team. We finished second in the West, which nobody thought we were going to do at the beginning of the year even when everybody was healthy. We were near the top in having the most injuries. We won our division in a division where every single team made the playoffs.

“There’s so many factors. I led the league in total points scored, minutes played. Like I said, I’m not taking anything away from Steph, but I felt I deserved the Most Valuable Player. That stays with me.”

That’s very Kobe Bryant of you to turn that into fuel. Defining the MVP Award is an annual discussion that nobody agrees on.

I could get into how Harden was the old-school, traditional stats MVP, how that ignores how Steve Kerr used Curry, and how that opened up the Warriors’ offense to championship levels. Curry put up numbers, but he was also the distraction, the bright star that Kerr used to open up looks for Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and others. Curry’s strength was not just what he did with the ball in his hands, but his gravity to draw defenders even when he didn’t. Did the Warriors stay healthier than the Rockets? No doubt. Should Curry be penalized for that?

It’s simple for Harden — if he can put up those numbers again, if he can be the fulcrum of a top offense, he will be in the discussion for MVP again. And, if he can lead the Rockets beyond the conference finals, nobody will talk about that MVP snub anyway.