This was something power forward Elton Brand used to talk about with his former coach at Peekskill High School: Finishing it all up at the Garden.

Brand, the 34-year-old Westchester County product, is a free agent, seeking one last contract before retirement. The Knicks, coincidently, have a dire need for another big man off the bench and are trying to snag him as their first free-agent acquisition this summer.

“If this happens, this would be amazing,’’ longtime Peekskill High coach Lou Panzanaro told The Post. “He always indicated he would love to finish his career in New York, his last contract, in the twilight of his career. You never know how things are going to go. His mother [Daisy] hoped the same thing. Early in his career, she didn’t want him here because of the distractions. Chicago and L.A. were fine.’’

Brand, the No. 1 overall pick by the Bulls in 1999, hasn’t been the same player since returning in 2007 from a major Achilles tendon rupture — the same injury Kobe Bryant is battling. Brand spent last season in Dallas, but didn’t put down roots. Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is chasing free-agent center Andrew Bynum, so Brand could be on the backburner there.

The Knicks re-signed two of their three major free agents, J.R. Smith and Pablo Prigioni. Chris Copeland is off to the Pacers. With Andrea Bargnani aboard and Marcus Camby gone, the Knicks feel they need another banger inside and a backup for center Tyson Chandler. The Knicks also may not be able to re-sign power forward Kenyon Martin.

Panzanaro didn’t think Brand looked the same as he had before the injury in Dallas, where he averaged 7.2 points and 6.0 rebounds last season in 21.2 minutes per game.

“I’ve seen him getting away from what he does best,’’ Panzanaro said. “He’s physically aggressive from the low post. In Dallas, he was more on the high post, setting screens. He was not getting the ball too much.’’