76ers agree to sign Young, amnesty Brand
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bye-bye, Elton Brand. See you later, Lou Williams.
The 76ers turned a mundane offseason into a memorable one by jettisoning their leading scorers from each of the past two seasons and clearing needed space in the salary cap to potentially set up a bigger move.
With fans worried a surprising run to the Eastern Conference semifinals might cloud management's view of the roster, team president Rod Thorn made a pair of bold moves Friday that showed the team believed changes were needed for the franchise to grow.
Step one meant saying goodbye to Brand.
Thorn said the Sixers have decided to use the amnesty clause on Brand and will get about $18 million in salary cap relief for next season. The amnesty clause allows a team to waive one player during the new labor deal and have 100 percent of his salary taken off the cap and the tax.
Brand was entering the final season of an $80 million, five-year contract. Brand is still owed the $18.1 million on the final year of his deal. Teams under the salary cap can now bid for Brand's services for next season and the veteran forward is expected to be in demand by a contender.
"It's probably a good thing for Elton," agent David Falk said by phone. "It's not a surprise. We've been talking about this for months. It's part of the business of basketball. Clearly, he didn't want to be in Philly playing 15 minutes a game. That's not something that's productive for him."
With money to spend, the Sixers agreed Friday to a one-year contract with guard Nick Young. Young's agent, Mark Bartelstein, told The Associated Press on Friday that the deal is for one season in the $6 million range. Deals cannot be signed until July 11.
Young spent his first four-plus seasons with the Washington Wizards before he was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in March. He's averaged 11.4 points over his career.
Young, a two-time all-conference standout at Southern California before becoming a consistent NBA scorer in five seasons with Washington, averaged 14.2 points last season, and 17.4 points in 2010-11. The versatile swingman is slotted — for now — to replace guard Lou Williams, who opted out of the final year of his contract that was worth $6.4 million.
"He's got more size, gives you a little more versatility, and Nick's a big-time scorer," Bartelstein said. "The more we took a look at the situation, it's a perfect fit for Nick at this stage in his career."
Williams was runner-up to Oklahoma's James Harden in the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award. He said after the Sixers were eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals, that, "If I was a betting man, I think I would be back."
Young's arrival signaled the end of Williams' run. He averaged 11.3 points over a seven-year career with the Sixers and led the team in scoring last season with 14.9 points a game.
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