The Mavericks’ restocking continued Friday with the addition of Elton Brand, a two-time All-Star power forward claimed by Dallas through the amnesty waiver process.
The Mavs placed the highest bid for Brand, who was waived Wednesday by Philadelphia. The 1999 No. 1 overall pick was owed $18.2 million by Philadelphia for the last year of his contract. The Mavs’ bid was reportedly $2.1 million, with the 76ers responsible for the difference.
Brand beefs up the Dallas frontcourt behind Dirk Nowitzki and new starting center Chris Kaman. Shawn Marion and Brandan Wright are also part of the frontcourt rotation.
The depth down low has quickly turned what appeared to be a roster weakness into a strength.
“I figured that I’d be claimed and that’s definitely the destination I was hoping for,” Brand told ESPN.com. “It’s going to be great playing with someone of Dirk Nowitzki’s caliber. Chris Kaman is still a really good player and is going to show everybody that. And I’ve heard a lot of good things about coach [Rick] Carlisle.”
“Good pickup for us,” Carlisle said of Brand. “Different type of player than we currently have, can play the 4 or 5, versatile and experienced.” Brand (6-foot-9, 254 pounds) is the 1999 No. 1 overall pick who boasts career averages 18.3 points and 9.4 rebounds in 860 games with the Bulls, Clippers and 76ers. He’s shot 50.1 percent from the floor, and earned All-Star nods in 2002 and 2006. Brand averaged 11.0 points and 7.2 rebounds last season while starting all 60 games he played.
The Kaman signing also became official Friday.
“We are excited to welcome Chris Kaman to Dallas,” Mavs general manager Donnie Nelson said. “Chris is a former All-Star who has accomplished a lot in this league. He is extremely skilled on both ends of the floor and will bring a low-post presence and versatility to the center position. Chris is a true professional on and off the court, and we are pleased to welcome him to the Maverick family.”
It’s been a busy week for the Mavs, who have rallied to rebuild a playoff-caliber team for this season while also maintaining financial flexibility for next summer. Brand and Kaman join guards Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones, a duo acquired Thursday night from Indiana.
This week’s haul lessens the sting of last week when the Mavs lost out on free agent Deron Williams, and watched Jason Kidd and Jason Terry move on to new teams.
The front office is also high on the rookie draft class — Jared Cunningham, Jae Crowder and Bernard James — that begins Summer League play Sunday in Las Vegas. Third-year pro Dominique Jones is also on the Summer League team.
Though the 2012-13 team has started to take shape, expect a few more moves. Interest remains in bringing back free agent guard Delonte West, and the Mavs would like to find another 3-point shooter for the backcourt.