by Marcel Mutoni

During a chat session over at ESPN.com this week, Chad Ford said that Elton Brand is being dangled by the Philadelphia Sixers. The roadblocks, according to Ford, are his poor play thus far and that gigantic contract of his.

The press in Philly had little choice but to track down Sixers management and Elton Brand himself for comment. They did, and here it is. Courtesy of the Daily News:

Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski said he does not comment on rumors, but a source familiar with the Sixers’ situation insisted that Stefanski had made no trade-related calls involving Brand and that he had no interest in dealing the player he signed to a 5-year, $79.8 million contract during the summer.

Brand confirmed that Stefanski had spoken to him. He seemed comfortable and at ease last night as he approached the third game of his return after missing 16 games with a dislocated right shoulder suffered Dec. 17.

“Anytime there’s speculation, and as you get close to the [deadline], that’s when you know it’s a business,” Brand said. “I’m just here to win, to play my heart out. I haven’t been in a lot of [rumors], and I know that if we were 30-10, this wouldn’t be the case. I understand where it would come from, even if it’s from a fan, a chat session, e-mail.”

Crazier things have happened, of course, but it would be pretty shocking if Brand were traded. The fact that this is even being discussed in the first place tells you all you need to know about the Sixers’ season up to this point.

Good thing there are 38 games remaining to right the ship.