The Philadelphia 76ers decided to wait a couple of days before making noise on the free agent market, but they did just that on Friday by signing shooting guard Nick Young and using the amnesty clause to get rid of power forward Elton Brand.
Young is the perfect fit one-year, $6 million fix for the Sixers at sixth man with the imminent departure of Lou Williams. The Sixers will sign Young on July 11, when the free agent period officially begins.
While a member of the Washington Wizards in 2010-2011 and part of 2011-2012, Young averaged over 17 points per game; the 27-year old shoots 43% lifetime from the field and 38% from three-point land. He is a subpar defender, but his role on the Sixers will be as a sixth man who comes off the bench to score points and provide an offensive spark.
GM Rod Thorn also decided to part ways with veteran Elton Brand, 33, whose $18 million will now be coming off of the books. Brand is a two-time All-Star, but as a member of the Sixers he hasn’t made a single All-Star team and played the worst basketball of his career; in the nine years prior to coming to Philly, Brand averaged nearly 20 points and 10 rebounds per game. In four seasons here, he’s only averaged approximately 13 points per game and seven rebounds.
Both of these moves are smart; the Sixers replaced Lou—who was looking for a long-term deal—with Young, a short-term solution who will help develop Evan Turner and Jrue Holiday. They also got rid of a ridiculous amount of cap space by using the amnesty clause on Brand, which can now go to signing a big-name free agent within the next couple of weeks or in 2013, when the free agent pool becomes much more saturated with talent.