Elton Brand has been staying out of the free agent spotlight, mostly due to the fact that he’s nearing the end of his playing days. Even when Brand played at an all-star level he almost always flew under the radar. He was a 20 and 10 guy for years and it came and went with little fanfare.
At this point in his career Brand is still a capable player and can do most of what he used to but at a much reduced rate. He has a solid frame which lets him push guys around in the paint, and he still has that sweet touch around the rim. Brand was always a good defender and rebounder, but his knees have worn down a bit, so he isn’t able to get up as much as he used to.
The Grizzlies roster currently stands at 15, but you can count on one of the younger players to see D-League time (more than likely Jamaal Franklin). The front court players include Zach Randolph, Kosta Koufos, Marc Gasol, Jon Leuer, and Jarnell Stokes. If Memphis brought Brand aboard, then Leuer would more than likely be inactive. Brand can play at both the four and the five, which can give the Grizzlies some additional flexibility up front.
The Grizzlies presumably are looking to groom Jarnell Stokes into a future starter, and he will need some guidance along the way. Z-Bo is obviously going to have a huge influence on Stokes’ game, but Brand would be another great mentor. Being taught by two players who can score down low, rebound, and defend could elevate Stokes to the next level sooner rather than later.
Brand could even show Stokes some tape of his days at Duke, where he absolutely rocked the college basketball scene:
Elton Brand would be a great, cheap pickup for the Grizzlies to add some additional bench strength and veteran leadership. People forget that Brand was a superstar talent in his day, and frankly his talents were wasted on some lowly Clippers teams. Vince Carter was also a superstar in his day, and having both him and Brand on the same team would have a positive influence.
The Grizzlies are poised to win now, and as the Vince Carter signing showed, age is but a number. If Memphis can ink Brand on the cheap, then he could be a great fit.