Elton Brand Signing With 76ers Leaves Baron Davis Stranded

Gem JeffersonSenior Analyst IJuly 9, 2008

Elton Brand reached an agreement with the Philadelphia 76ers on a five-year, $82 million deal, $7 million more than Los Angeles Clippers could offer him.

But they could not offer it to him because he publicly said that he would take less money to acquire an impact player to help the Clippers get to the playoffs.

That player was Baron Davis.  Davis, like Brand, opted out of his final year of his contract and immediately agreed to a five-year, $65 million with the Clippers in hopes of playing with All-Star and close friend, Elton Brand.

Many reports are saying that Brand convinced Davis to join the Clips and that Brand agreed to stay in LA if Davis joined the team.

However, Brand chose money over his word, leaving Davis high and dry.

I personally don't mind the personal decision to take the money over loyalty, but if he indeed did lure Davis to LA, he should be ashamed of himself. 

Baron Davis could have stayed in Golden State with his contract and earned $17.4 million over the next year, or found another team (probably for less money, but at least a contender). 

Brand affected the life of another player with his agreement and backed-out for more money.  He should have taken the Gilbert Arenas route, "what can I do with $127 million that I can't do with $111?"  

Now Davis is stuck on a team that lost its two best players in the first day of free agency and the best option on the market, forward Josh Smith, doesn't quite replace either player.

Smith, at 6'9", is a small forward, but with Al Thornton already on the team, Smith will probably have to play the four spot.  But in the Western Conference, the power forwards are taller, faster, and stronger than they are in the East (Tim Duncan, Amare Stoudemire, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki).

While Davis and Smith could combine for exciting alley-oops and fast break plays, they are not the one-two punch that that would take LA to the playoffs.

Brand's decision leaves close friend, Davis, high and dry while he fills his pocket with an extra $7 million that he can now use to start his music and film careerand move closer to home.