I’m getting old Pippen Peoples, I’m getting old. Here’s another chapter to the numerous Chicago Bulls rumors offseason ledger. Elton Brand, who the Bulls drafted back in 1999 may be coming back full circle to Chicago according to Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors. He stated on Monday that Elton Brand and Chicago could possibly agree to a deal.
It was the best of times for America and the worst of times for the Chicago Bulls back then. Back in 1999, Prince’s 1999 hit song took on an all new meaning. Remember Y2K? The world was supposed to be coming to an end. How about those computers we had? After 2000, the computers would be rendered useless. Man if you have a car now and are old enough to remember paying $1.19 for regular unleaded gas, holla at a player. Boy things were cheap back then. Mr. Bill Clinton was our president and we all were eating. Oh, wait a minute what was I talking about? Oh, Elton Brand! Sorry about that. Reminiscing about gas prices after dropping $3.40 a gallon in the tank will do that to a brother. Excuse me.
To me, Elton Brand was a symbol of what was to come after the Jerrys, Reinsdorf and Krause broke up one of the most dominant dynasties in NBA history to build through the draft and sign a big time free agent. Remember that ridiculous speech Bill Wennington gave talking about a “First Dance” after the Dynasty Club left? Wennington was playing off Phil Jackson’s “Last Dance” scenario that was the rallying cry the year before. Well that first dance was with a team that had two left feet. The Bulls stunk. They were a laughingstock and the only good thing that came out of that season was that the season was shortened by the strike.
Coming off the season that saw the retirement of Michael Jordan (for the second time), the sign and trade of Scottie Pippen to the Houston Rockets, Dennis Rodman going into free agency and head coach Phil Jackson wanting to look at anything other than Jerry Krause, the Bulls got the No.1 pick in the draft. The Bulls achieved that with a 13-37 record by replacing the greatest two guard of our time, Michael Jordan with Pete Myers and the greatest coach of all time, Phil Jackson with Tim Floyd. Brilliant!
To cover the stench, Jerry Krause decided to pour some Brut by Fabrege on it and draft Elton Brand out of Duke. He should have. Brand was the NCAA Consensus Player of the Year leading the Duke Blue Devils to the Final Four in his sophomore year. He was supposed to be the cornerstone of the franchise for years.
Well technically it was years…two. The Bulls traded Elton Brand to the Los Angeles Clippers for the draft rights to Tyson Chandler. It made Pippen Ain’t Easy’s five worst trades of all time in franchise history.
At 35 years old, Elton Brand has gained respect as being one of the more professional and classy players in the league. He’s a great locker room guy and that doesn’t do him justice. He’s an ambassador to the league and young players could learn a thing or two from him.
His career averages consist of 16.6 points and 8.8 rebounds. He was a All-NBA second team honoree in 2006. He’s a two-time All-Star (2002 and 2006) and Co-Rookie of the Year back in 2000.
Do the Bulls need Elton Brand?
No! The Chicago Bulls do not need to waste a spot on Elton Brand especially when it can be used for a two guard.
Last season with the Atlanta Hawks, Brand played in 73 games which included 15 starts. He averaged 5.7 points per game while grabbing 4.9 rebounds and blocking 1.2 shots in about 20 minutes. Elton Brand channeled a little D.J. Augustin and was a godsend filling in when Al Horford went down for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. He was a solid contributor to a Hawks team who had no business being in the playoffs. Plus they scared the living daylights out of the Indiana Pacers taking them to seven games in the first round before bowing out.
But there is absolutely NO ROOM for Brand on this roster. Look at the embarrassment of riches the Bulls have on the front line.
1) Pau Gasol
2) Joakim Noah
3) Taj Gibson
4) Nikola Mirotic
Sure if this actually happens (which of course it shouldn’t) it would be a nice story of a player going back to finish where he started. Let’s consider it a broke and penniless paperback version of LeBron James going back to Cleveland. But that last spot on the roster needs to be used on one of three options…
1) A big physical two guard.
2) A wing player.
3) A combo guard.
If the Bulls were thinking about bringing in a minimum wage big guy they might as well bring back Nazr Mohammed. That makes sense. Tom Thibodeau knows him, everyone knows that’s a factor if anyone sees the United Center floor without a GPS system.
The only good Elton Brand can do for the Bulls is serve as a leader in the locker room and be a mentor to the big guys most notably Mirotic and Cameron Bairstow. Luckily the Bulls have those already. They call them assistant coaches.
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