The Dallas Mavericks were the winners for the services of Elton Brand Friday, claiming the 33-year-old forward off of amnesty waivers for $2.1 million. Getting Brand continues a strong comeback for the Mavericks after losing out on Deron Williams and Steve Nash at the start of the free agency negotiating period.
Brand wanted to go to Dallas, a source told NBA.com Wednesday. And he got his wish, giving the Mavericks a big who has never scored less than double figures or averaged fewer than 6.1 rebounds per year in his 13-year NBA career. He will back up Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Kaman at the center and power forward spots, but Brand is most interested in showing that he can still be a major contributor to a good team.
Last season, Brand averaged 11 points and 7.2 rebounds for Philadelphia in the regular season. Those numbers went down in the playoffs, but Brand was dealing with a neck injury that limited his range and effectiveness.
In Dallas, he’ll re-team with former Clippers teammate Chris Kaman, whom the Mavericks signed to a one-year deal Wednesday. The Mavericks also traded for guard Darren Collison and swingman Dahntay Jones in a deal with the Pacers for backup center Ian Mahinmi.
“It was his number one choice,” said Brand’s agent, David Falk. “I can’t say I’m thrilled with the amnesty process, but I’m just glad he is on a team with a great coach. The chance to play with Nowtizki is special. And he and Kaman had a good run in L.A. Plus it gives us some flexibility if he has a good season.”
The Philadelphia 76ers, who amnestied Brand on Wednesday, will have to pay $16 million of the $18.1 million Brand was due this season, with the Mavericks paying the $2.1 million they bid for him. Brand was amnestied so that the Sixers could make several moves, including signing free agent guard Nick Young and acquiring small forward Dorell Wright from the Warriors in a three-team deal.
A source said Friday that the Mavericks have not yet decided whether to make an amnesty bid for former Rockets forward Luis Scola, who was officially waived under the amnesty provision Friday by the Houston Rockets, as that team tries to clear additional cap room to make a push via trade for Magic star center Dwight Howard. The source said that the Mavericks want to see if other prominent players are waived via the amnesty process.
Teams that want to bid on Scola have to bid at least $3.3 million for the 2012-13 season, and will have to pay him $10 million over three years under the amnesty rules–the non-guaranteed part of the final year of Scola’s contract with the Rockets. Houston will have to pay Scola the $20.6 million he’s guaranteed for 2012-13 and 2013-14. The $20.6 million also includes $1 million that Scola is guaranteed in the final year of his contract, 2014-15.
Under league rules, Scola officially went on waivers at 5 p.m. Friday. Teams have 48 hours, or until 5 p.m. Sunday, to bid on his services. Eligible teams have to be under the salary cap to make a bid, though teams that don’t have enough cap space are allowed to waive players on their roster with non-guaranteed deals for the season in question to clear additional room. Teams cannot make trades to create additional room.