Sixers signing Montrezl Harrell to two-year contract

·2 min read

Sixers signing Montrezl Harrell to two-year contract originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Sixers are shaking things up at backup center.

The team is signing 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year winner Montrezl Harrell to a two-year contract with a player option in Year 2, a source confirmed Tuesday afternoon to NBC Sports Philadelphia. Harrell's deal is for the minimum salary, the source said.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the news of Harrell's signing.

Backup center has often been an important and uncertain position during the Joel Embiid era. Before adding Harrell, the trio of Paul Reed, P.J. Tucker and Charles Bassey appeared to be the team's main options behind the MVP runner-up. Reed was Embiid's top backup last postseason and had quite a few positive moments, though his chaotic instincts were not always conducive to head coach Doc Rivers feeling comfortable with him on the floor.

“I feel like these playoffs propelled me for next year in a lot of different ways," Reed said at his exit interview in May. “One way is I feel like I earned more of Doc’s trust. I feel like he wouldn’t be as scared to put me out there on the court.”

Rivers and Harrell already know each other well. The 6-foot-7, 240-pound Louisville product averaged 15.2 points and 5.8 rebounds over his three seasons with the Clippers, developing into one of the NBA's top second-unit scorers.

While Harrell's minutes per game in the 2019-20 campaign dropped from 27.8 per game during the regular season to 18.7 during the playoffs, Rivers was widely criticized for playing him too much given the Clippers' superior performance with Ivica Zubac on the court.

Thanks to Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey, Houston was Harrell's first professional stop. Drafted 32nd by Morey in the 2015 draft, Harrell spent two years with the Rockets before moving to Los Angeles as part of a trade for Chris Paul. Of course, this won't be his first experience playing alongside James Harden.

Harrell played for both the Wizards and Hornets last season, posting 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per contest.

In August, Harrell had a felony charge of marijuana trafficking reduced to a misdemeanor possession charge, according to ESPN. Harrell pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and will have it removed from his record after 12 months if he has no legal issues.