Posted by: Jeremy | November 10, 2009

It could be worse, Raptors fans…


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Brand, showing off his power game

Remember when the Raptors took some heat for bringing in an injury-plagued Jermaine O’Neal prior to last season? I found it pretty funny, because nobody seemed to blink an eye when the Sixers gave a five-year, $80 million contract to Elton Brand, who missed 74 games the prior season due to a torn ACL. Sure, O’Neal didn’t pan out in Toronto, but the Raps were able to ship him to the Heat for Shawn Marion, who Bryan Colangelo rather nicely turned into Hedo Turkoglu this past summer. The Sixers? Well, they’re still stuck with Brand.

Brand, who failed to mesh with Andre Iguodala early last season in Philly before bowing to shoulder surgery in January, has been an absolute trainwreck: In last night’s 119-115 loss to the Suns, the big man spent the entire fourth quarter on the bench, finishing with 10 points and two boards. In seven games, he’s averaged 10.1 and 5.6 and 0.9 blocks, down from career averages of 19.9, 10.1 and 2.1.

I forget where I read it, but when Toronto picked up O’Neal last year, someone mentioned that historically, once the numbers of a big start declining, they’re finished. J.O. is a fine example, though Brand looks to be poster boy for that theory. And Philly is on the hook for that contract.

Of course, this just adds Brand to the growing list of NBA players with bad contracts. Every team has a couple, I suppose. Still, next time you sit and complain about Marcus Banks contract at the end of the Raptors bench, just remember, it could be worse.

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