The Philadelphia Sixers GM has pulled off two blockbuster trades and improved the Sixers’ title hopes in just five months on the job.
Elton Brand is at it again.
In his first year as Sixers GM after replacing Bryan Colangelo, Brand has already pulled off two blockbuster trades that exemplify his vision, intelligence, executive savvy and dedication to bringing a championship to Philadelphia for the first time since DR. J and Moses Malone won it all in 1982-83.
Colangelo’s resignation — a scandal draped in the attempted character assassination of African-American employees and franchise players — manifested itself in Brand getting a rare opportunity as a Black man to lead one of the NBA’s 30 franchises.
The former Duke Blue Devils star and NBA veteran has embraced the enormity of the task and proven to be one of the rising young minds in the NBA.
Brand threw Jimmy Butler a lifeline and worked out a trade to get the disgruntled All-Star forward out of Minnesota in November of 2018. That opened some eyes around the league.
The move Brand pulled off on Wednesday morning has the eyes of the NBA world rolling into the back of their heads. The LA Clippers reportedly agreed to trade former Long Island Lutheran star and 20-point per game scorer, Tobias Harris to the Sixers.
Harris’ last game with the Clippers on Tuesday night was a memorable 34-point, 7-rebound, 5-assist performance.
Sources: Clippers and Sixers have agreed to trade Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott for Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, 2020 first-rounder, 2021 unprotected 1st via Miami and two second rounders.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 6, 2019
The Sixers entered this season coming off a very promising 2017 campaign in which they won 52 games. Led by young stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, they found out in the playoffs that they were not constructed to championship standards.
Brand knew that too and immediately set out to change it.
“Honestly, I say we have a lot of work to do,” Brand said at the time. “We’re not where I want to be right now. I’m not sure what the players feel about that. I know coach wants to see more growth and improvement. We have a lot to work on.”
Brand didn’t decide to ride this year out with the parts he had while waiting until free agency to add another star. He saw opportunity where other GM’s saw obstacles. Only time will tell if relinquishing two first-round and two second-round picks to make the deal was a good move, but Brand is definitely a gunslinger and chips in the middle of the table type of poker player.
The Sixers are currently in fifth place in the East and the trade now gives them four All-Star caliber players and a fifth starter in lethal shooter J.J. Redick, who is playing better than he has his entire career. Every starter averages 17 or more points per game.
Even before adding Tobias Harris, the @sixers are the only team in the NBA with four players averaging at least 17.0 PPG this season. The reported Harris trade would give them a fifth. pic.twitter.com/QUKGnR1gmX
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 6, 2019
There’s no passivity to Brand’s GM game once his intellect tells him it’s a go. Sixers fans have to be elated with the trade and anxiously looking forward to a run up the Eastern Conference standings in the second half of the season.
With all of the talk about Magic Johnson and Anthony Davis, or Kyrie Irving and Danny Ainge, it’s Elton Brand who once again quietly and effectively continues to build the Sixers into a legit championship contender.
Its safe to say Brand has GM of the Year on lock right now.