Dallas this week designated 7-foot center Brendan Haywood as its amnesty player. Haywood is set to make $8.2 million next season and is due $27 million over the final three guaranteed years in his deal.
Brand was a two-time All-Star when he spurned better offers and signed the free-agent contract with Philadelphia. While Brand was the locker-room leader and heart of the Sixers, his production never merited the deal he signed as one of the hottest free agents available.
He played only 29 games in an injury-filled first season with Philadelphia and never meshed with former coach Eddie Jordan in his second. Under Doug Collins, Brand found his niche, and led the Sixers in scoring with 15.0 points a game in 2010-11.
"We just didn't get it done," Brand said. "I'm a realist. If we had got it done, I'd have still been there, absolutely. No hard feelings at all. I'll still root for the organization. I had a great time. The fans were great. We started changing the culture. It was good."
Brand may not become a legitimate 20-10 threat at power forward again like his years with Chicago and the Clippers, but he was as steady and durable as any Sixer over the past two seasons. Brand said he "would have loved to have come back," but understood why the Sixers made the change. They chose not to re-sign guards Lou Williams and Jodie Meeks, and believed their Eastern Conference semifinals loss to Boston was as far as that roster could go.
"I felt like we had to get better. Something had to get done," he said. "We were kind of bringing the same guys back and other teams were getting better. ... I didn't think we were improving too much."
AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Dallas contributed to this report.
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