Elton Brand fits what Glen Grunwald and Mike Woodson usually look for. He's a grizzled, accomplished veteran who is no longer elite but has tread left on the tires. With the New York Knicks need for frontcourt help could Brand be a fit in Madison Square Garden?
Elton Brand was once a dominant player in the NBA. However, he's now 34 years old and his playing time and production have been on a steady decline in recent years. However, he still shows flashes of what once made him an all-star in his prime. Could Brand give the Knicks an important depth player who could give them production in the frontcourt?
The fact is, Kenyon Martin may not be back next season. The Knicks could use more depth either way but without Martin signing someone for the frontline becomes even more important. Brand could give New York an effective offensive weapon in the paint on the low block.
Brand is a 6'9", 260 pound big man with the ability to call for the ball down low and post-up. He has a wingspan of 7' 5.5" and extremely strong. He also has a high basketball IQ for a forward. Although he's not as agile as he once was, he still moves and jumps fairly well for his size. However, he's very good at using leverage to be a presence on both ends of the floor.
Brand is tough and a very good rebounder. He can also use his wingspan to block shots. Brand has a solid mid-range jump shot but his biggest strength comes in the post. Even though he hasn't been the same player he used to be the last couple years, there's no reason Brand couldn't help the Knicks as a reserve off the bench.
Brand is a throw-back style big man. Most of his offense comes from post ups but he can also clean up the offensive glass. He also has a solid pick and pop game and can still play one-on-one. Brand has a tremendous touch from mid-range and in, including from the free throw line.
He also has an effective turnaround jump shot with his back to the basket. Brand has a good hook shot and uses fakes to create shooting opportunities. He's a fundamentally sound player that can finish at the rim effectively with either hand.
He still has the strength to force his way into the paint and not get pushed out of position. He's also good at boxing out and fighting for offensive rebounds. He's very quick and a good ball handler for his size. He's also a good passer and doesn't force the action against double teams.
He's also a solid defender. He's not the elite defender he used to be but he can still defend the post and block shots. He still doesn't get pushed around either and isn't afraid to bang around and fight for position. Just like on offense, he does a good job rebounding. He can be seen boxing out on every play.
He still contains a great motor and is a high effort player. He also defends the high post and tries his best to recover from the perimeter when shots go up. However, he can be foul prone now that he's older. However, that's largely because of his aggressiveness.
Here's the thing, Brand isn't the same player he was coming out of Duke. Quite frankly, if he was the Knicks wouldn't be able to afford him and he wouldn't even consider coming off the bench for New York. The former first overall pick can still play. Additionally, he could give the Knicks a different look with his skills in the low-post.
Plus, he only made $2,100,500 last season so there's no reason Glen Grunwald couldn't find a way to afford his services. Brand could give New York some much needed toughness and provide a solid twenty minutes off the bench.
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