PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Peekskill native and former NBA No. 1 draft pick Elton Brand, a former standout at Peekskill High School and Mr. Basketball in New York State in 1996, was claimed Friday by the Dallas Mavericks, it was announced by the NBA team.
Brand was released by the Philadelphia 76ers on July 6 under the league's amnesty clause to free salary cap space so the 76ers can sign free-agent guard Nick Young and re-sign center Spencer Hawes. Brand was claimed for $2.1 million but will be paid the remainder of the $18 million owed him by the Sixers.
"I'm excited," Brand said. "I knew I might be claimed and this is a destination I was hoping for."
The local basketball star, who supports his Elton Brand Foundation to aid local schools, returns to his hometown often and is expected to visit in early August for his annual youth basketball camp.
Only teams under the salary cap were eligible to bid on claiming Brand off waivers. He would have become an unrestricted free agent had he cleared waivers. The 33-year-old forward/center averaged 11.3 points and 7.2 rebounds last year, helping the young Sixers enjoy a winning season. He has averaged 18.3 points and 9.7 rebounds over his 13-year career with the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers and Sixers.
Brand was a star forward at Duke University after leading Peekskill to back-to-back state titles in 1995 and 1996 and was the Bulls' No. 1 draft pick in 1999.