Philadelphia 76ers: The Norvel Pelle contract dilemma

Philadelphia 76ers, Norvel Pelle (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers, Norvel Pelle (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Norvel Pelle has been a serviceable big man in relief of Al Horford and Joel Embiid this season, but the Philadelphia 76ers only have a few days left to covert his two-way contract to a full NBA deal.

Norvel Pelle‘s two-way contract situation may not move the needle for national news or SportsCenter, but clearly many teams across the country are on notice. The obvious follow-up question is not whether the Philadelphia 76ers should keep Pelle — they certainly should — but rather who would get cut from the current 15-man roster to make room for Pelle?

Names that immediately come to mind are Jonah Bolden, Kyle O’Quinn, Raul Neto, and Shake Milton. Yes, most of these players have played some meaningful minutes and are reliable rotation players. However, if Pelle is getting more minutes than Bolden and O’Quinn at the center position when Horford or Embiid sit out, then why not cut one of the two big men that are seemingly taking up bench space?

If Brett Brown prefers Pelle in the rotation, then it makes sense to cut another center to create roster space. Another factor to consider is Bolden and Milton are both signed to contracts for at least two years following this season, whereas O’Quinn and Neto are free agents this summer. The Bolden and Milton contracts are cheap enough though, where it would not be much of a cap hit moving on form either player.

Lastly, the Sixers will be looking to add a sharpshooting guard at the trade deadline or buyout period and Neto or Milton could be the guard on their way out to make room. Elton Brand and Brett Brown do not have much time to make this decision on Pelle, as the five days ’til decision time continues to count down.

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Pelle’s defensive presence and length should secure him a roster spot and potentially even backup center minutes in the playoffs, if our fluctuating front court cannot stay healthy and available.