Not every player’s contract situation in the NBA is the same. Sure, all numbers and terms are different — but the two-way contract situations for some players make their time on an active roster quite tricky.
Philadelphia 76ers reserve center Norvel Pelle is currently under a two-way contract with the Sixers. And at this point in the year, the team could lose Pelle to their G-League affiliates, the Delaware Blue Coats, if the Sixers don’t make room for him on their roster.
A couple of months ago, that probably wouldn’t have been an issue for the Sixers, who seemed to have a decent amount of depth at the center position. But with Joel Embiid currently out nursing a hand injury, there’s a bit of a question mark at the five spot.
The primary backup center is none other than Al Horford. That was obvious when the Sixers inked the veteran to a $100-plus million deal. However, the backup’s initial backup isn’t who everybody expected it to be when the roster was finalized this offseason.
Initially, it seemed like the Sixers would utilize eight-year veteran, Kyle O’Quinn as the third option at the center position this season — but Brett Brown hasn’t favored the big man at all this year.
In 26 games this season, O’Quinn has only managed to exceed 20 minutes in a single matchup twice. Averaging only 10 minutes-per-game when he plays, O’Quinn hasn’t really had an opportunity to prove his entire worth to Coach Brown.
Pelle, on the other hand, has had less time than O’Quinn with the Sixers but has seemingly created more of an impact when he’s on the floor during the nine games he has played. His passing and scoring might not be on the same level as O’Quinn’s, but his high intensity on the defensive side of the ball has left Brown with much to desire.
With less than a week left to go before Pelle gets sent to Delaware for the rest of the season, the Sixers have to make a decision on him. While it doesn’t seem like they are totally sold on keeping him just yet, there are sure signs of the team being intrigued with the idea of potentially freeing up a spot on the roster for him.
This past Thursday, Pelle received 13 minutes on the floor against the Boston Celtics. Now, the Sixers will resume their schedule on the road Saturday night when they take on the Dallas Mavericks. Depending on how many minutes Pelle receives, the Sixers might get an even better sample size of Pelle’s value as a third option at center for the rest of the year.