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FLASHBACK: Elton opts out

Remeber this?

When reached by phone, Brand said he is aiming to re-sign with the Clippers. He is a two-time All-Star who has been with the team since 2001-02 but played in only eight games last season while recuperating from a ruptured Achilles' tendon.

Now, the Clippers must decide whether they are willing to offer him a new maximum contract that could command $120 million over six years.

"It means I'm a free agent, but my intentions are to stay with the Clippers," said Brand, who was owed $16.44 million if he remained in his former contract. "That's always been my intention."

Referring to the Clippers as "we," Brand said he would like to see them be aggressive in this free-agent market.

"I think with the pieces we have, we can do some damage," he said, adding their focus should be on signing a proven point guard.

"We're definitely playoff contenders with the pieces we have," Brand said. "There are guys like a Beno Udrih or someone like that, solid at the point guard spot, because we don't really know Shaun [Livingston's] situation and Brevin [Knight] is the only point guard we have on the roster right now, but I think we're fine."

David Falk, Brand's agent, said the decision to opt out took a lot of "soul searching" from Brand.

The decision may have come, Falk said, when Brand attended Game 2 of the NBA Finals and witnessed a strong and veteran-laden Boston Celtics team come together for the title.

"I think it was a wake-up call for him at age 29 that he needs to put himself in a position that a lot of his peers have," Falk said, later adding: "We'll see what [the Clippers] will do over the next nine days and act accordingly."

Brand mentioned the Philadelphia 76ers as a possible destination.

"Bottom line is, we'd like to do a long-term deal with him," Dunleavy said by phone.

 

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