Did Sixers draft strategy hint at a hidden Elton Brand masterplan?


76ers’ GM Elton Brand is entering a possible career-defining offseason this year. He made several splashes last year in the acquisitions of Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler, but the costs of the trade have yet to be determined since free agency doesn’t start until June 30th. Many felt like Brand may have overpaid for Tobias Harris with the two first round picks and two second-round picks given up along with player assets. Now with the draft in the rear-view mirror, the Sixers have found themselves in a very odd position.

The front office entered the night with 5 draft picks. One being a first rounder, and four second-round picks. They did what many expected them to do and traded up. In the first round, Brand gave us a warning sign that we may have been ignoring for a while now. He traded up for the 20th overall pick but at what cost? Not only did they give up their 24th and 33rd overall picks but they traded with the Sith Lord himself, Danny Ainge, of the Boston Celtics.

Of all teams to bargain with, they shot themselves in the foot with trading to their division foe. Now what did that trade cost? The Celtics selected Grant Williams and Carson Edwards with their picks, players that could’ve made contributions for the team early on. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m very high on Matisse Thybulle, the kid is a great defender. He’s a 6”5’ wing with hands that can really help the Sixers on defense. He’s not the best shooter but I’m sure that will progress as time goes on. The issue at hand is that Brand didn’t stop there, they trade all but one of their second-round picks, leaving the draft with only two players to add to the roster.

So where do we go from here? At this point, I feel like I’m watching an episode of scooby doo and we’ve made it to the end where the villain takes off his mask to reveal who he really is. Is it just me or does it feel like its Bryan Colangelo underneath the Elton Brand mask? B

But anyway, it’s over now. The draft came and went like a thief in the night. The main focus from here will be free agency. Brand stated that he had made all the moves to get the team more money in regards to the luxury tax. Call me crazy but I still believe Brand can make 76ers fans forget about this dreadful draft with the right free agent pickups. I’m in the position to believe that the team is sure they can retain Harris, Butler, and Redick while also signing another big name to pair with their big four.

Has Brand proved that he’s capable of such wizardry? No, but he’s a former NBA player that knows what it takes to win. In a league with super teams constantly being built, the Sixers are in a favorable position. They have Simmons and Embid as their cornerstone players. Butler seems to have found a home that I can’t see him walking away from. Harris looks like he’s ready to run it back at any moment with this team. This is a very attractive destination right now in a wide-open East. Yes, the Raptors are still in the East but Kawhi hasn’t guaranteed that he’ll be staying and I can’t see this Raptors team beating the Sixers again in the playoffs.

Again, I can be wrong. Free agency can go in the complete opposite direction at any moment. But I can’t help but feel like Brand might have something great up his sleeve. There’s just no way he’s going to go down like this. I can’t see it. If there’s one thing you can expect from Brand and the Sixers brass this offseason is that they are prepared to spend, possibly overspend for veteran help. They got a glance at the promised land and their running for it. As for what the future holds, if Brand’s approach is only to focus on veterans instead of building thru the draft then the future of the team can be in limbo. As for now, all we can do is wait and see until June 30th.

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports