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Saturday August 23, 2008 7:28 am

Dropping Dimes Mock Draft: Round 1, Pick 8 -  Elton Brand

Elton BrandA long time ago, when I went to back to school in the fall, one of the assignments I always looked forward to was the “What you did over the summer” write up. It gave one the opportunity to recall the events and experiences of the past summer. Can you imagine if Elton Brand had to do a write-up for this past summer? It might read something like “…woke up one morning and decided to opt out of contract that would have paid me $16 million this season…looking for new long term contract with the Clippers…new PG Baron Davis joins Clippers and noted that he would like to ball with me…get a phone call from agent that Philadelphia 76ers are interested…decided the lure of Philly steak sandwiches was too much and sign with the 76ers for 5 years, $82 million …” Damn, what an eventful summer for Elton Brand?! It makes that family BBQ of mine look kind of boring. 

 

Elton Brand is back in the Eastern Conference and ready to resume being a fantasy force. In the East he will not have to face the likes of Amare Stoudemire, Tim Duncan, Dirk Nowitzki, Carlos Boozer and Al Jefferson. You can bet there will be more restful nights for Elton Brand now that he is playing in the East. The number of quality big men in the East is noticeably less than in the West.

Elton Brand should easily gain re-entry into the 20-10 Club (Bigs that average 20 points and 10 rebounds) this upcoming season. I would not be surprised if he averages a career best to the tune of 25 points and 11 rebounds. Another solid fantasy attribute is Brand’s percentage numbers (solid FG% and FT%). Brand has a career average FG% over 50% and over the last 5 seasons he is shooting better than 75% from the line.

What separates Brand from most big men are the blocks. Brand has averaged over two blocks over his career. Last year only eight players averaged over two blocks/game. Of those players, only four of them averaged around 20 points and 10 rebounds (Amare Stoudemire, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan and Yao Ming). Out of those four players, only two of them shot better than 75% from the line (Amare and Yao). Amare has bounced back well after injury problems but Yao is not coming off surgery to repair a broken foot and could not get proper rest because of his obligation to participate in the Olympics for his country.  Get the picture? When Brand plays a full season, he brings to the table a full array of big man skills that few can achieve.

To top it off Yahoo! has Elton Brand listed as PF/C. Center eligibility would be amazing in the fantasy world because of the lack of depth at that position. Enjoy it this season because I have a hunch that center eligibility will disappear in the following seasons for Brand as he continues to suit up beside Samuel Dalembert.

I am not worried about any lingering effects with his Achilles injury. Last year Brand suffered a ruptured left Achilles tendon. Philadelphia 76ers invested $82 million into Brand and are obvious comfortable that he will return to top form. If Philly can invest that kind of dough in Elton Brand, I think I can use a mid-first round pick on him in my fantasy draft.

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