NBA.com | Hang Time Blog

DALLAS — As a giddy new father, Elton Brand returns to Philadelphia Tuesday night excited to be able to hold his baby daughter. As a struggling newcomer to the Dallas Mavericks, he’s coming back to Philly looking to gain a firm hold on this awkward start to the season.

The 76ers amnestied Brand and his final-year, $18.2 million salary. The Mavs eagerly scooped him up for just $2.1 million of his total cost. So far, he’s been barely worth that much.

Brand, 33, is averaging dramatic career lows: 5.5 points on 34.2 percent shooting, 5.8 rebounds and 22.0 minutes a game. His sagging defensive rating (106.3, according to NBA.com) is nearly four points worse than a slumping offensive rating ravaged by a mid-range jumper that has all but abandoned him.

Brand’s dropoff says a lot about where the erratic, made-over Mavs stand today. At 7-7 and with the so-called “easy”…

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