After Davis opted out and signed with the Clippers, ESPN reported Brand had been asking Clippers management to pursue Davis leading up to the signing. A few days later, Brand opted out and appears to have signed with the 76ers.
I guess we'll never know how much communication occurred between Brand & Davis, but comments by Baron led me to believe that they had been talking extensively and that he expected Brand to stay in LA. That also leads me to believe one of they main reasons BD signed with LA is because he liked the prospect of playing alongside Brand (who can blame him?). Guess who was most bummed out by the news of Brand going to Philly? Mr. Davis himself, of course. If the rumors about Brand beckoning Davis to come to LA are true, it was a pretty sketchy maneuver on EB's part.
Of course, I try to be a realist. Elton Brand has always said he was better suited for the Eastern Conference's style of play (although I disagree -- but that argument's for another day). I'm not certain, but I'm guessing he has family on the East Coast given he grew up in New York. He's entering the home stretch of his career, and family/lifestyle tends to become a bigger factor for players at that stage of their careers. It's also not like Brand moved to a miserable team that was merely willing to pay him -- he went to a team with a solid, young nucleus that plays in a Conference that's easier to manuever in. I get it -- the NBA is a business and Elton Brand probably did what was best for Elton Brand.
Nonetheless, I'd feel a bit shafted if I were Baron Davis. Overnight, he went from moving to a potential contender (at least for the second round of the playoffs) to a team in the same position as the one he left behind. If the aforementioned rumored coaxing by Brand is in fact true, it would be like salt on the wounds. I suppose he'll be happy living in his hometown and being closer to the entertainment scene that he has grown to love. From a basketball standpoint, however, he's gotta be frustrated.
Will the Clippers continue in their quest for improvement by seeking the services of another solid free agent? As the pickings become "slimmer", it's hard to see them luring anyone in until the summer of 2009.