From Thompson in the OC Register:

...what fans want to know, is whether Brand will exercise the opt-out on the final year of his contract that is due to pay him $16,440,000 for the 2008-2009 season. Brand’s agent, David Falk, has been having preliminary discussions with the Clippers.

“Nothing’s really come up,” Brand said Thursday. “We’re just looking at the landscape. He’ll probably know more in the next week and a half or two weeks. But I’m here now, training and getting prepared.”

There have been rumors that Brand not only is considering opting out but also rejecting any contract offer the Clippers extend and instead severing ties with the franchise that he has played for the past seven years.

Including his first two seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Brand has averaged 20.3 points and 10.1 rebounds.

“Even if there is an opt-out, it doesn’t mean I’m going to a new team,” Brand clarified. “It’s hinging on my agent saying to me, ‘Here are your options.”’

So what does Brand believe is his best-case scenario?

“The best-case scenario is to be here and to get to the championship, in the time that we have, and then everything would be great,” Brand said.

Sounds like Brand is either [a] leveraging the opt-out clause for a possible extension, or [b] stalling while he sniffs out the free agency market.  Remember, cap room is tight. And so much depends on the moving parts.  What does Shawn Marion do?  Would Elton be willing to sign a backloaded deal with Philadelphia?  If Elton decides he wants out, would the Clips try to work a sign-and-trade?