Thursday, October 6, 2022

76ers put a bow on successful offseason, reportedly sign Montrezl Harrell to serve as backup center

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The Philadelphia 76ers have signed Montrezl Harrell to a two-year, $5.2 million deal with a player option for the second year, per Adrian Wojnarowski. Harrell could potentially serve as Philadelphia’s backup center, cutting into Paul Reed’s minutes. 

Harrell had been idle on the market while facing an uncertain legal situation. He had been facing felony drug charges in Kentucky after getting pulled over with three pounds of marijuana in his car, but those charges were reduced to a misdemeanor, per Adrian Wojnarowski, and will be expunged from Harrell’s record entirely in 12 months if he does not get into any further legal trouble. 

Wojnarowski also reports that James Harden played a pivotal role in bringing Harrell, whom he played with in Houston, to the Sixers. For starters, Harden signed a smaller annual contract that he potentially could’ve pursued this summer, freeing up the Sixers’ books enough to sign PJ Tucker and now Harrell. Harden also was central in Harrell’s recruitment to Philly, per Wojnarowski. 

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The 2020 Sixth Man of the Year, Harrell brings max offensive energy and he crashes the offensive glass hard, but he has been such a defensive liability in recent years that he has struggled to stay on the floor in playoff games. We’ll see how it works out with the Sixers and how they’ll balance the backup minutes with Reed, who’s a good player in his own right. 

Even if it’s just as a regular-season innings-eater, Harrell adds to what has been a successful Sixers offseason. They got Harden back on the team-friendly deal. Tucker is a major addition, as is De’Anthony Melton. Danuel House could contribute, and now Harrell. Nice work by Daryl Morey and his staff. 

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