Atlanta Hawks v Brooklyn Nets

Report: Hawks in talks to bring back Elton Brand to round out roster


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.

PBT Extra bold prediction: Is this Andrew Wiggins’ breakout season?

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Minnesota is going to be entertaining to watch this season. A healthy Ricky Rubio (hopefully) dishing at the point, Karl-Anthony Towns is already a high-IQ passer, and bench players such as Shabazz Muhammad and Adreian Payne have shown some skills.

Then there’s Andrew Wiggins. The reigning Rookie of the Year developed quickly last season — particularly his jump shot — and he should make a big leap this season. He’s going to dunk on people and end up in a lot of highlight packages while putting up a lot of points.

Enough to set the Minnesota Timberwolves single game scoring record, currently held at 52 by Mo Williams? That’s the question for this PBT Extra with Jenna Corrado.

Derrick Rose being back for start of season in question

Fred Hoiberg, Derrick Rose
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The Bulls have said Derrick Rose is about a week away from returning after suffering a facial fracture this preseason.

The start of the NBA season is two weeks from today (Oct. 27).

So Rose will be ready to go when the Bulls start their season that first night against Cleveland, right? Don’t bet on it, says Vincent Goodwill of, quoting coach Fred Hoiberg.

The opening night projection for a Derrick Rose return is a bit murky at this point, as the Bulls are taking a cautious approach to his recovery with Fred Hoiberg essentially ruling him out for the rest of the preseason.

“Most likely (out for the preseason),” Hoiberg said….

In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rose sit out the first handful of games, as the Bulls start the season with a three-game in four-night stretch starting Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is in two weeks.

“That will be in consideration, sure,” Hoiberg said. “We gotta make sure, he really hasn’t done anything and that will be a good two or three weeks where he has total inactivity, so just to throw him back out there going 100 percent with his speed and everything, you just don’t want to take any risks, chances, where it could be a lingering issue.”

Just what TNT and the NBA hoped for with an opening night Bulls vs. Cavaliers showcase: Kirk Hinrich vs. Mo Williams. (Don’t forget Kyrie Irving will miss the start of the season recovering from his knee surgery.)

Of course, this is the smart play for the Bulls who need to be thinking about getting Rose fully healthy and focusing on what condition he will be come April 27, not Oct. 27.

And of course, a lot of Bulls fans who are down on Rose will slam him for this. Even though the injury was a freak accident and the team is right to be patient.

Rose could play opening night, if he gets back to practice next week and can get closer to basketball shape. But I wouldn’t bet on it.