Elton Brand said after last season he wanted to play a 16th season in the NBA, and he may get that.
Last season in Atlanta Brand was thrust into a larger-than-expected role when Al Horford went down and he played solidly, particularly on defense where he was key. He didn’t put up big numbers (5.7 points and 4.9 rebounds a game) but he was efficient (.561 true shooting percentage). That said, against Indiana in the first round of the playoffs the Hawks went small (wisely) trying to space the floor and Brand’s role shrunk.
That was good enough for the Hawks to consider bringing him back, reports Chris Vivlamore at the Atlanta Journal Constitution (via Eye on Basketball).
The Hawks could add a 15th player before the start of training camp next month. They are in negotiations with unrestricted center Elton Brand, who played last season with the team.
It’s not a signing that really moves the needle either way, but if this is a veteran minimum deal and Brand is used as he was at the start of last season — which is to say, sparingly, only in certain match ups — then this is a solid pickup. Brand would be good in the locker room and can still do some things on the court, you just don’t want to lean on him like the Hawks had to last season (he started 15 games).
It’s something to watch, but it would not be a bad get for the Hawks.
First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.
Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.
The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”
“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”
The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.
It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.
I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.
Somebody is in midseason form.
Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.
Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.