NBA / May 24, 2010 / 2:21 pm

The trade bringing Evan Turner, Elton Brand to Indiana

Elton Brand

The funniest thing about the NBA Draft Lottery is how team reps try to balance acting happy about getting a high pick with looking sufficiently disappointed that their team was bad enough to end up at the Lottery in the first place.

The 2010 Conflicted Emotions winner was the guy from the Pistons: During the drawing he broke into a big grin when his team landed the No. 7 pick, but as soon as ESPN’s Mark Jones said, “The Pistons missed the playoffs for the first time in since 2001,” his face immediately shifted to a somber, focused look.

Danny Granger forgot the “act happy” part. Repping the Pacers, Granger brought a John Wall jersey to the Lottery and was ready to rip off his dress shirt like the Incredible Hulk if the Pacers got the top pick. When they didn’t, he dropped his head onto the table. Lost in the comedy of the moment: Granger was advertising that he needs help.

One year removed from his breakout ’08-09 season, Granger averaged 24.2 points this year, 10 more than Indiana’s second-best scorer (Troy Murphy, 14.6 ppg). Only the Cavs (LeBron, Mo Williams), Heat (Wade, Beasley) and Thunder (Durant, Westbrook) had a bigger discrepancy between their leading and second-leading scorer.

But amidst reports over the weekend that the Philadelphia 76ers are open to trading the No. 2 pick in this year’s Draft (read: Evan Turner), I thought up a deal that would get Granger the help he needs, while Philly also gets what they want:

* Indiana gets: Elton Brand, 2nd pick in 2010 Draft

* Philadelphia gets: Mike Dunleavy Jr., Jeff Foster, Brandon Rush, 10th pick in 2010 Draft

Pacers projected lineup
PG – Earl Watson/T.J. Ford
SG – Evan Turner
SF – Danny Granger
PF – Elton Brand
C – Roy Hibbert
6th Man – Troy Murphy

76ers projected lineup
PG – Jrue Holiday
SG – Andre Iguodala
SF – Mike Dunleavy Jr.
PF – Marreese Speights
C – Sam Dalembert
6th Man – Thaddeus Young

From everything I’ve heard, the Sixers are more eager to unload Brand’s monster contract — $51 million over the next three years — than they are to get a potential future All-Star in Evan Turner. But why would they take this deal to get back three players who might not even start and the 10th pick in a Draft that doesn’t have 10 “sure thing” prospects?

Because the list of teams willing to take Brand is short. And for a Sixers squad that’s short on basketball IQ, shooters and overall talent, Indiana can help fill some of those gaps. Dunleavy, Foster and Rush all have high basketball IQ; plus Dunleavy can shoot, Foster can bang, and Rush is a talented big guard still realizing his potential. And with that 10th pick, Philly can get a young center to eventually replace Dalembert, maybe a Hassan Whiteside or Ekpe Udoh or Greg Monroe. They also save money with Dunleavy ($10.5M), Foster and Rush coming off the cap in 2011.

(An alternative to the above deal would be one sending Murphy, Solomon Jones and Rush to Philly. Murphy is a better player than Dunleavy, but I think Dunleavy’s passing ability helps Philly’s offense move more smoothly, and Foster is a better defender than Jones.)

The Pacers, meanwhile, are desperate for a reliable low-post scorer/rebounder who can play D. Like I wrote the other day, Brand fell off from his 20-and-10 form faster than a roided-up baseball player, but after putting up 13.1 points and 6.1 boards per game this season he’d still be Indiana’s closest thing to a go-to guy on the interior. And in Turner they get an immediate starter at two-guard.

Talent-wise, is it a lopsided deal? Depends on how good you think Turner is going to be. But as we’re seeing even more in the NBA, saving money is just as (if not more) important as putting a winning team on the court. The Sixers have to save money, while the Pacers have to produce a winner — or at least look like they’re trying — to bring fans back to their struggling franchise that’s rumored to be in danger of relocating. This trade works for both sides.

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  • MellogicSpeakin

    Both teams will still end up with a Lottery Pick next year. SMDH! I bet the GM’s are thinking about downing some battery acid right about now.

  • GoEasy

    Really? Sixers would likely be the worst team in the L next year with that roster. At least with turner and Iggy running together they will surely get some wins, and maybe sell some tickets. I ain’t paying to come watch these fellas play:

    PG – Jrue Holiday
    SG – Andre Iguodala
    SF – Mike Dunleavy Jr.
    PF – Marreese Speights
    C – Sam Dalembert
    6th Man – Thaddeus Young

  • Bizz

    Normally this would be a bad trade, but because the Sixers are so publically desperate to get rid of Brand, this isn’t as bad as it would appear on first glance, and they get $ off the books. The only problem is, they’re pretty much trading Brand and Turner for a 10th pick, which might be a little undervalued for them. They’d probably want Murphy somewhere in this package to make it work.

  • jm

    I understand you would get Brand off the books, but Iggy isn’t a 2 guard. He is a 3 masquerading at the 2 spot. Philly would still stink. Not sure Collins would want this deal b/c he wants to win now.

    I think unless you get a stud back, Philly hangs on to Turner. He would be the go to guy for them and for many years. Reminds me of Brandon Roy and technically can play 3 positions. He is legit and from the door be their best player.

    Unless get stud point or sg in return and lose Brand’s contract they stay put and look to move Thadeus (because he is the only player someone would want) and Brand for Stud big or point guard later. Hang on to Turner or I think Philly will regret it in s2-3 years.

  • 808

    wow…I know Elton Brand has fallen off, and I sure as hell wouldn’t want him on my team, but damn. I agree with Bizz: that’s a lot for Philly to give up for a couple of guys without a lot of upside.

    I’m no Evan Turner expert either. Is the gap between him and a #10 pick not as great as I think it is??? Or are we gambling that Turner will not amount to a franchise player?

  • hahns

    worst trade idea of the century.

  • mess

    What about Brand and #2 for AK-47’s expiring deal and #9 pick?
    I know Brand hasn’t been what he used to, but it may have been the system. Get him on Sloan’s team as a replacement for Boozer leaving, and maybe he’d regain some of his previous form.
    Plus, 76ers get out of Brand’s deal and get an expiring one in return for next summer.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Come on Austin. Regular DIME readers know your “new team” is the Pacers. Once again you have proposed a lopsided trade in favor of Indiana. Like GoEasy said, the 76er roster after this trade would be terrible. I just don’t think the prospect of unloading Brand, as horrible as his contract may be, is enough to warrant Philly giving away the chance at a special player like Evan Turner.

  • Badger

    @Spliff — What do you think every GM is trying to do? Lopsided trades that work in your team’s favor are the goal. I’m sure Mitch Kupchak didn’t think he was giving the Grizzlies a “fair” deal for Pau Gasol.

  • Jared

    Guys I really think you are not giving this a fair look. The 76ers have been extremely vocal about dumping Brand’s contract and I don’t know many (if any) teams that either A) have the expiring contracts to make something like that work, or B) actually would be willing to take 50mill over 3 years! The Pacers fit both of those because they are in desperate need to make a move to bring back some fans…

    Not saying that it is going to happen, but this is a type of deal that would not surprise me on draft night

  • Spliff 2 My Lou


    Austin is not a GM in case you didn’t know already. GM’s making lopsided trades I understand. Fans making lopsided trade proposals that overly benefit their team comes off as ridiculous.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Of course fans want their team to get better without giving up any important pieces. Who wouldn’t? But when you try to sell a lopsided trade proposal by including such gems as “Dunleavy’s passing ability helps Philly’s offense move more smoothly” and “Foster can bang, and Rush is a talented big guard still realizing his potential”.

    If those statements are true why didn’t any of those players make the Pacers any better? The Pacers stunk. So why would adding those players to an equally terrible team in Philadelphia make the 76ers better?

    Basically, Austin is trying to convince readers that the additions of Dunleavy, Foster and Rush coupled with the subtractions of Brand and Turner will make Philly better. Where’s the logic in that?

  • Spliff 2 My Lou

    Mess’s trade proposal in post #7 makes more sense.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Spliff — The bigger point for the Sixers is to save money. That’s why I said it “works” for both teams. But they could at least argue they’re trying to get better in the process because of the things Dunleavy, Rush, Foster and the #10 pick bring to the table.

  • catdog56

    Ed Snyder wants to win not save money. If they didnt have the opportunity to take a player that can turn a franchise around id be all for it. But Elton doesnt hurt this team, he may not be worth the money but he doesnt hurt them. All you ignorant writers who just look at stat lines need to realize that. He is a good player playing for a lazy coach. Placing him in a young lineup with a coach that likes to coach is a great fit. Watch a game then you can write your ignorant articles.

  • http://www.designbydesmond.com My Favorite Superhero

    Seriously Austin, do you just hate Philly or something???

    This is a bad idea for a couple of reasons…

    Brand was injured when he first came to Philly and last season played without a coach…When he did get his opportunity to shine, he actually managed to put together a string of respectable games on a team without a true PG or C with a bball IQ or ANYONE who can shoot consistently…

    Two, The Sixers would not change AT ALL…you’re replacing Brand with Dunleavy and truthfully beefing up the Pacers as they have no real post presence…With this projected line-up, Igoudola is still having to play that #1 role, that we’ve all seen he can’t play…

    As a native Philadelphian, I’m not excited over the #2, because this sixers organization is notorious for making plumb-stupid moves. However, if you grab Turner and see what he can do, you can move Iggy and/or Dalembert later and keep Brand and Turner as your core….until Brand falls apart that is…

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @catdog — I like Brand. But if the Sixers want to get rid of him, I’ll take him on Indiana.

  • Spliff 2 My Lou


    I can’t argue against the saving money part. I know teams are trying to save money. But please don’t try to convince us that the 76ers are getting better by this trade. We’re not idiots. Well most of us are not.

    I just don’t think Ed Stefanski wants to be known as the GM who signed Brand and Igoudala to their crippling contracts and passed on the chance at Evan Turner or perhaps John Wall.

    What if the Wizards threw a curve ball and drafted Turner #1 but this proposed Indiana/Philly trade had already gone through. Then this trade really becomes lopsided because Indiana gets Brand and John Wall while Philly ends up with Dunleavy, Rush, and Foster. Saving money or not that’s a difficult sell to even the most loyal 76er fan.

  • Papa Smurf


    I can hear the fans in Philly booing this trade proposal right now . . . and I live all the way out in Vegas.

    I’d love to see what would happen if this trade took place on draft day and the draft was held in Philly. Obama would have to call in the National Guard.

  • http://www.designbydesmond.com My Favorite Superhero

    @ Papa Smurf, no one from the 6ers organization better be in attendance, because there would probably be homicides that night

  • jdstorm

    Whether they like it or not philly will probably trade the No 2 pick, because Brand’s contract is terrible, and he doesn’t fit the style of the team, Any way Here’s a trade i think might work.

    76rs Get
    Richard Jefferson, the rights to tiago spitter, pick 10 and a spurs future first

    Pacers Get
    Elton Brand, Tony Parker and pick 20

    Spurs Get

    TJ ford, Dunleavy jr, troy murphy and draft derrick favors at pick 2

  • ay yo.

    Exactly, that is a bad trade because Brand’s contract is horrible.

    Also, he’s not better than Troy Murphy.

  • Ray Cism

    What the now 22 comments before me have failed to mention… What would possibly make you think that Larry Bird of all GM’s would get rid of multiple “Fair Skin” players and not get one in return?

    I’m not going to outright call him a colour biased individual, HOWEVER certain draft trends and the players he chooses to fill his rosters with are highly questionable. If you had the choice of Blair or Hansboro who would you have picked? Both are tagged with being undersized inside bangers who hustle like crazy.

    With that said, this trade is thrown out for the fact that Murphy would be moved to the bench. Who wants to bet that he Indiana gets Gordon Hayward?

  • fLaVa

    i’d like this trade for bosh….

    2nd pick/brand for bosh

    at least with bosh you KNOW u can get production from him instead of scrubs like dunleavy, Foster and rush. The only guy i think thats worthwhile is Rush for philly. But if they get bosh instasd i think tahts a win-win for both sides.

    Toronto doesnt lose their superstar for nothing, unlike what happened with Tmac. They get tougher downlow with brand instead of bosh. Brand might not be the old 20-10 guy but hes still a defensive presence downlow and that was EXACTLY what raptors lacked last season. ALso the prized 2nd pick Turner, which i feel is pick 1A with wall cuz if i had 1st pick, i’d go for the sure thing in Turner.

  • fLaVa

    I know 76ers want to save money now but if they can get bosh, i m sure they will definately vault them into playoff form and ppl will start to attend their games.

  • T.O.M.

    Bring home a winner Indy I miss seein Pacers in the playoffs and I’m just a Granger fan. But less be real brand would suit the Pacers and there style of play. Slow. But I wont give up on Hansbrough yet. And Evan got veteran look more solid nba body then Reggie had when he entered the league not saying much but I got a good feeling him and wall r gonna do there thing this year and beyond. This trade works but Philly still gotta do other things. Don’t be surprised to see them trade iggy and Samuel to get more cap space. Bosh to sixers not happening.

  • Sean

    Dude, the rumors that Philly is trading the pick are coming primarily from Chad Ford! Chad Ford! Chad “I Love Darko” Ford! Enough said.

  • K Dizzle

    13.May 22nd, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    K Dizzle says:

    Toronto needs to talk Bosh into goin to Philly.
    Colangelo should swing the Bosh for Brand and the 2nd pick. Raptors get automatically tougher with Brand in the paint and leave Bargnani to float on the perimeter. Bosh fits better in Philly anyways. Brand’ll be better two seasons removed from achilles surgery and the Raptors can’t POSSIBLY f up the #2 pick. Need a wing? Turner. Need a big? Cousins, Favors, Monroe? Shit, even pull a Philly and trade the #2 and Hedo for someone who cares at the 3, maybe a Rudy Gay…
    What y’all think?

  • J Smooth

    I’m a fan of K Dizzle’s Bosh for Brand trade but other than that I’m not giving up Turner (as we’ve been calling him in the philly area “The Dark Knight”) for anything other than a big name or a mediocre one with an expiring contract and a top 7 pick

  • fLaVa

    K Dizzle,

    Wow exactly what i proposed to as well.. but you got to it first but we were both thinking about it..

    i def think its a win-win for both teams.

    BUT for me they gotta go with either Turner or Wall in this situation. I don’t think they can pass either up for Favors, Monroe or cousins. I think u can build a team around Turner or wall as oppose to the bigs but i definately get where you’re coming from.. raps cant f it up and they have options.

  • http://getyourishbusted.net Chicagorilla

    two things.

    1) Why would Elton start over Troy Murphy when Troy is obviously the better player at this point in their careers.

    2) who the hell told you that Thaddeous Young would come off the bench behind Mike Dunleavy Jr.?

    wtf? why the love for these two scrubs (yes Elton is now a scrub)

  • K Dizzle

    lol @ Chicagotilla’s post. So so true. Thad would murk Dun Jr durin training camp for even thinkin he’s gonna just come in and take the spot.

    @ J Smooth and flaVa

    definitely a win-win for both teams. If Colangelo can talk Bosh into addin Philly to the mix, this should be done pronto

  • http://dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Chicagorilla — Same reason Manu used to come off the bench behind Finley, or Jamal Crawford comes off the bench behind Bibby. You don’t necessarily need your best five to be your starting five. For me, Dunleavy starts over Thad because he helps get the offense moving as a passer and spreads the floor as a shooter. Thad can come in and be the top scorer on the second unit instead of the 3rd scorer on a first unit with no shooters. For Indy, Brand works as your top interior scorer on the first unit to balance out the outside-shooting Granger and mid-range Turner, instead of Granger and Murphy being the top two scorers on the first unit as outside shooters.

  • tim

    Only a stupid fool would even think of a trade this bad. Why would you trade a second overall pick to a team that didnt even make the play-off? Elton Brand by himself is better then Dunleavy, Rush and Foster combined on his worst night.

  • sxrs

    as you guys wrote in smack today: fans would riot
    you dont give up the second pick (aka the best thing that happened for us in the last i-dont-know-how-many-years) to correct a mistake you made a couple of years ago.

    and if money is that much of a factor; how about the attendance? You thought the Wach was empty last year? Who’s gonna show up to watch the team you proposed?

    in short: the sixers are in no position to trade away the talent that comes with the 2nd pick