The 20 worst free agent signings in NBA history

Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls NBA (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls NBA (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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#14. Elton Brand: 5 years, $82 million

Newer fans of the NBA may know Elton Brand as the G.M. of the Philadelphia 76ers, but during his prime as a player, he was an all-star. Brand was drafted by the Bulls and later traded to the Los Angeles Clippers, where his career took off. Over seven seasons as a Clipper, he averaged an impressive 20.3 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in 459 games. He parlayed that strong Clippers run into a 5-year, $82 million contract with the 76ers.

Injuries quickly derailed his time with the 76ers. He missed 76 games—almost a full season—over the span of the deal, and he was a shell of his former self in his four seasons in Philadelphia. It wasn’t all bad; Brand served as the anchor of a then-up-and-coming team that featured Jrue Holiday, Thadeus Young, and Evan Turner, even making the Eastern Semi-Finals in 2011 before losing in game 7 to the Celtics.

Still, he wasn’t the 20-point, 10-rebound, and 2-block-per-game player that he was in Los Angeles. As a result, Brand was later amnestied and claimed by the Dallas Mavericks. He finished out the contract in the 2013–14 season and averaged just 11.9 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks over the course of the deal in 318 games.

He lasted only three seasons after that, playing as a backup in Atlanta for a couple of years before returning briefly to the Sixers to end his career. As the GM of the Sixers, all is clearly forgiven, but his contract with Philadelphia definitely still makes the cut.