Dumars: Brown agrees to two-year deal with Pistons
Kwame Brown's search for another fresh start is taking him back to the Eastern Conference.
The center and the Detroit Pistons agreed to a two-year, $8 million contract Monday night. Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars confirmed the deal to The Associated Press late Monday.
The contract is likely to be signed Tuesday and will include a player option for Brown to return to free agency after completing one season according to agent Mark Bartelstein, who told ESPN.com of the agreement earlier Monday.
It remains to be seen whether the Pistons will be able to make the splashy trade that Dumars vowed to consider after Detroit's loss to Boston in the Eastern Conference finals. But this signing is bold in its own way for the Pistons. They will be hoping that Brown can finally start to find a foothold in Detroit after another recent top-three pick who has significantly underachieved -- 2003's No. 2 overall selection Darko Milicic -- lasted only 2½ seasons with the Pistons before being dealt to Orlando in 2006.
The Pistons, though, can counter with multiple success stories -- most notably Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace -- when it comes to working with former top-five draft picks who endured problematic starts in their careers. Detroit will try to make Brown its latest reclamation project, figuring that his size, athleticism and relative youth are still too enticing to pass up, especially on a short-term commitment.
Brown earned nearly $9.1 million last season in the final year of his previous three-year deal, which the 26-year-old received in the summer of 2005 in a sign-and-trade from Washington to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Brown's expiring salary was the chief chip that the Lakers used to convince the Memphis Grizzlies to send Pau Gasol to L.A. on Feb. 1 in a trade that earned the Grizzlies widespread criticism. Memphis essentially settled for the salary-cap relief created by Brown's expected departure, two late first-round picks, young point guard Javaris Crittenton and the rights to Gasol's brother Marc. The Grizzlies subsequently signed Marc Gasol earlier this month after his breakout season in the Spanish League and used one of the first-round picks last month to acquire the rights to No. 28 overall selection Darrell Arthur of Kansas.
Brown played in only 15 games with the Grizzlies after the trade, averaging just 3.5 points and 3.8 minutes in just under 14 minutes per game. He returns to the East after spending his first four seasons as a pro in Washington, having been drafted by then-Wizards president Michael Jordan.
There were reports in the past week suggesting that Brown was a candidate to re-sign with the Lakers, with longtime Lakers coach/consultant Tex Winter telling noted Lakers historian Roland Lazenby that coach Phil Jackson "has always liked Kwame" and has "always felt that defensively he's pretty good." Yet sources say that Brown never seriously considered a reunion with the Lakers after a tumultuous stint in which he absorbed plenty of public criticism from Jackson.
In his seven pro seasons, Brown has averaged just 7.5 points and 5.7 rebounds, posting his best season in 2003-04 by averaging 10.9 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Wizards. Brown has likewise been plagued by various injuries, appearing in 42 games or less in three of the past four seasons.
Marc Stein is the senior NBA writer for ESPN.com. To e-mail him, click here. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Pacers say they'll stand up to physical Heat
- Hibbert: Should have pushed to be on floor
- Grizzlies' Allen fined $5,000 for flop in Game 2
- Phil Jackson would pick Russell over Jordan
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
FREE AGENCY 2008
The NBA offseason has been busier than expected, thanks in part to Elton Brand's joining the 76ers. Keep up with the latest moves. Transactions
News• George's deal with Mavs made official
• Brown returns to New Orleans to back up Paul
• Veteran Finley re-signs with Spurs
• Nuggets re-sign Smith to multiyear deal
• Miles signs with champion Celtics
• George, Mavs agree to two-year deal
• Clips re-sign free-agent center Paul Davis
• Iguodala signs six-year deal with Sixers
• Sources: 76ers, Iguodala agree to multiyear deal
• Hawks match Grizzlies' $58M offer, retain Smith
• Heat's Williams reaches terms with Clippers
• Bobcats' Boykins signs European contract
• Restricted free agent Williams re-signs with 76ers
• Cavs shore up backcourt, sign ex-Grizzly Kinsey
• Arroyo signs with Maccabi Tel-Aviv
• Ex-Clipper draftee Skinner signs deal with team
• Bulls sign Deng to six-year extension
• Sources: Deng, Bulls on verge of deal
• Hawks sign ex-Magic G Evans to contract
• Sources: Okafor, Cats agree on new deal
• Nets lose Krstic to Moscow team
• Clippers sign swingman Davis from Heat
• Vujacic officially signs multiyear deal with Lakers
• Agent: Brown, Pistons agree to deal
• Warriors re-sign Biedrins to 6-year, $62M deal
• Sources: Biedrins, Warriors agree to 6-year deal
• Wolves agree to deal with Gomes
• Lakers, Vujacic agree to 3-year, $15 million deal
• Ellis inks $67 million deal to stay with Warriors
• Summer star Roberson signs with Knicks
• Andersen bolts Hornets to return to Denver
• Telfair re-signs with Timberwolves
• Childress leaves NBA for Greece
• Spurs re-sign Kurt Thomas
• Suns sign ex-Warrior Barnes to one-year deal
• Turiaf to play for Warriors
• Jazz, Williams agree to 4-year extension
• Sources: Clippers, Azubuike agree to offer sheet
• Bucks add veterans Allen, Lue
• Posey agrees to 4-year deal with Hornets
• Arenas signs six-year deal with Wiz
• Mason's hard work pays off in contract with Spurs
• Wright re-signs with Mavericks
• Clippers officially sign Davis to multiyear contract
• Family ties: Brent is 3rd Barry to play for Rockets
• Warriors ink forward Maggette to deal
• Magic sign, introduce ex-Warrior Pietrus
• Nets agree to terms with forwards Najera, Hayes
• Sixers give frontline big boost, sign Brand to deal
• Agent: Bucks to sign Bogut to $60M extension
• Diop rejoins Mavs on 5-year, $31M contract
• Gasol in Memphis: Marc, not Pau, signs contract
• Kings re-sign point guard Udrih to five-year deal
• Heat sign 3-point specialist Jones to 5-year deal
• Sources say Brand will sign with 76ers
• Sources: NBA cap at $58.68 million
• Sources: 76ers confident of getting Brand
• Sixers making run at Brand
• Hawks free agent Smith visits 76ers
• Brand opts out, and Clippers await decision
• Calderon reaches agreement on new Raps deal
• Wizards hang on to Jamison
• Reports: Arenas agrees to six-year contract
• For 2nd year in row, Cats, Okafor to discuss deal
• Artest not opting out of final year of deal
• Paul agrees on four-year, $68M deal
• Davis leaving Warriors for Clippers
• Free Agents: 2008 | 2009 and 2010
Analysis• Hollinger: Hornets pay heavily for Posey's ring
• Martin: Najera's 3-point skills help seal Nets deal
• Stein: Which teams in hot pursuit of free agents?
• Adande: Why Brand left the Clippers
• Broussard: Crushing blow for Clippers
• Arnovitz: Clipper Nation in world of hurt
• Adande: Brand's departure is business as usual
• Hollinger: Brand new Sixers are East challengers
• Hollinger: Five big questions on free agents
• Stein: Davis verbally agrees to go to Clippers
• Broussard: The Clippers' other free agent
• TrueHoop: What is Corey Maggette Worth?
Podcast• Stein on Elton Brand and Baron Davis
• Hollinger on players who may switch teams
• Broussard on the money given to Arenas
• Sheridan on Brand, Davis, Artest and Smith
Video• Bucher on how the Brand deal got done
• Bucher on the latest NBA news
• Arenas agrees to six-year extension