The Sixers have found their backup for Joel Embiid. They agreed to a 2-year deal with Montrezl Harrell. Harrell split time last year between the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets. Adrian Wojnarowski was the first to report the move.
ESPN Sources: Free agent C Montrezl Harrell is signing two-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, including a player option. Harrell brings more toughness to a team searching for it this offseason. He was Sixth Man of the Year with Doc Rivers/Sam Cassell in 2019-2020 w/ Clippers.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 6, 2022
Harrell averaged 13.1 points per game last year between the two teams. He began the season with Washington, but was traded to the Hornets at midseason. But now he joins the Sixers, where it is unlikely he will see the same playing time he saw with either of those teams. But he should be expected to be the primary backup to Joel Embiid, and to start in the games where Embiid needs rest. Montrezl Harrell is 28 and entering his 8th season in the NBA. Perhaps his best season was the last time he played under Doc Rivers. He won 6th man of the year with the Clippers in the 2019-2020 season, scoring 18.6 pts per game. Since then he has bounced around.
The move puts into question the roles young players like Paul Reed and Charles Bassey will have with this team. Many hoped BBall Paul would get a chance to be Embiid’s backup after an admirable performance by him in the playoffs last year. But it seems Daryl Morey and Doc Rivers would prefer to have a veteran behind Embiid.
This move continues a busy offseason for the Sixers where they sured up a bench that gave them nothing in the playoffs. They have now added De’Anthony Melton, P.J. Tucker, and Danuel House. The start of the NBA Training Camp is just around the corner. While Sixers fans will see a very similar starting 5 this year for once, the bench will look very different.