Elton Brand and Corey Maggette opt out

by July 01, 2008

By Sam Rubenstein

Yesterday Mutoni mentioned a rumored return of Maggette to Orlando, as well as the fact that the with the free agent pool open, the trade waters are a flowin’. Well, now the two Duke buddies who became Clippers are opting out together. This works out well for Donald Sterling. He doesn’t want to pay his quality veterans, and now they don’t want him to pay them. Then again… Elton Brand had this to say:

When reached by phone, Brand said he is aiming to re-sign with the Clippers. He is a two-time All-Star who has been with the team since 2001-02 but played in only eight games last season while recuperating from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon.

Now, the Clippers must decide whether they are willing to offer him a new maximum contract that could command $120 million over six years.

“It means I’m a free agent, but my intentions are to stay with the Clippers,” said Brand, who was owed $16.44 million if he remained in his former contract. “That’s always been my intention.”

Referring to the Clippers as “we,” Brand said he would like to see them be aggressive in this free-agent market.

“I think with the pieces we have, we can do some damage,” he said, adding their focus should be on signing a proven point guard.

“We’re definitely playoff contenders with the pieces we have,” Brand said. “There are guys like a Beno Udrih or someone like that, solid at the point guard spot, because we don’t really know Shaun [Livingston’s] situation and Brevin [Knight] is the only point guard we have on the roster right now, but I think we’re fine.”

Wait a second… he wants to stay? Okay then, Donald Sterling, $120 mill to a guy coming off a ruptured achilles, make it happen.

Of course the rest of the story talks about how Elton watched the Celtics win the title, and he might want to play for a decent team for a change. Hmmmm… players will be changing teams.