Monday, July 16, 2012

NBA Free Agency: 76ers Sign Kwame Brown, Fail to Seriously Improve Frontcourt

First, they signed Spencer Hawes, one of the more disliked centers in team history.

After that, they decided to trade for Dorell Wright, who gives the team five small forwards on the roster.

Then they amnestied Elton Brand, a tough low-post defender with a beautiful expiring contract.

But they weren't done. In yet another offseason move that perplexes much of the fan base, the Philadelphia 76ers' brass decided that the right way to improve their young frontcourt was to sign former No. 1 overall pick Kwame Brown to a two-year, $6 million deal.

My gut reaction? This move makes less sense than running up a velcro hill with velcro shoes.

Brown may have been the top recruit in the 2001 draft class, but since then he's been nothing more than a bust. In his 11-year NBA career, Brown has averaged 6.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. He's only averaged double-digit points once in his career, and he's never averaged more than 7.4 rebounds per game in his career.

If you need a stat that defines his absurd mediocrity, here it is: he has more personal fouls (1,348) than blocked shots, assists and steals combined (1,229). He's an awful defender with a terrible low-post scoring game; in fact, the year after?he left the Lakers, they finally won the championship again.

Signing him to a one-year, $1 million contract would be one thing. Signing a difference maker?two a two-year deal would be yet another thing.?But to lock up a mediocre veteran center for two years when the goal is obviously to develop young players makes very little financial and basketball sense.

The Sixers have three young forwards who need playing time?Nikola Vucevic, Lavoy Allen and Arnett Moultrie. Now they have Spencer Hawes and Brown, two veterans who've hit their ceilings but will continue to stunt the growth of younger players for at least two more years.

It really doesn't make sense, now does it?


Manav Khandelwal is a correspondent for the Bleacher Report, and you can follow him on Twitter here.


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