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Old 07-01-2008, 01:11 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Default Brand Opts Out

Brand in Philly???? Titanic no more.

Elton Brand said on Monday that he is opting out of the final year of his contract with the Los Angeles Clippers, but that he hopes to re-sign with the team.

"We're opting out," Brand said. "It definitely doesn't mean I'm leaving the Clippers. We're trying to work it out. My intention is to stay."


Brand is forgoing the $16.4 million on the last year of his deal, a final decision he made at Monday's deadline to notify the team and the league. Earlier in the day, teammate Corey Maggette filed the paperwork to opt out of his contract, the Los Angeles Times reported, creating potentially $10 million of salary cap space if the Clippers do not re-sign him.

Brand's agent, David Falk, said the forward wants to see the Clippers sign a quality free agent and try to assemble a winning team in Los Angeles.

"It preserves options to make the team better," Falk said. "Clearly, if Elton decided he wanted to simply max out the dollars, he would have stayed in the deal, had a monster year and a lot more teams will have cap room next year."

There was a new name added to the free-agent list on Monday. Baron Davis surprisingly opted out of the final year of his contract with the Golden State Warriors, passing up $17.8 million.

Brand now has the right to leave the Clippers without compensation. Yet it's more likely that he would push for a sign-and-trade to a new team if he can't negotiate a new long-term deal to his liking with L.A, which Falk insists is Brand's preferred scenario.

Memphis and Philadelphia are the only teams with the requisite salary-cap space this summer to make sufficiently lucrative offers to sign Brand away from the Clippers outright. Even the Sixers -- despite their publicly stated interest in acquiring a power player -- might not have enough with an estimated $12.4 million to offer for a first-year salary.
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