Sixers forward has slimmed down considerably.
Posted by Matt Moore
Elton Brand has becom the kind of albatross contract teams dread having. At times not even cracking the starting lineup last season, Brand has plummeted into irrelevance since signing as a free agent in Philadelphia. Elton Brand used to be a monster, a franchise cornerstone. Now he's just a big contract for an older, out of shape player unable to contribute to the level he needs to.
Or... maybe not?
NBA.com's John Schuhmann reports that Brand has shown up for camp at 254 pounds, a significant weight loss that should increase his mobility. New head coach Doug Collins gave Brand a goal of 255 when they met this summer, and Brand has met that goal. It's a huge step for a player whose mobility has been severely limited by his balooning size the past few seasons. Brand suffered an achilles injury in 2007 and never has really recovered, despite signing as a free agent in Philly in 2008, shunning the Clippers who drafted him.
Brand, next to Marreese Speights, could give the Sixers a huge boost if he can contribute with even a slight improvement this season. Additionally, the better he plays, the easier it might be for them to move him which would help in their rebuilding process.
A resurgent Elton Brand? Too much to hope for? Hey, that's what training camp's for.