The Philadelphia 76ers rookie big man has a bright future in the NBA, but will it be in the City of Brotherly Love?
After covering the future outlooks of Zhaire Smith and Marial Shayok in Philadelphia, it’s time to move on to the Philadelphia 76ers‘ rookie big man Norvel Pelle. Pelle has had some impressive moments this season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he will stay with the franchise beyond this year.
Pelle has shown to be an athletic center that is a solid rebounder, shot-blocker, and rim runner. He earned a regular roster spot after signing a two-way contract his past offseason and was able to beat out veteran big man Kyle O’Quinn for playing time. Pelle’s not a bad third center to have on any depth chart moving forward.
This season, the 6-foot-10 big man has averaged 8.9 minutes, 2.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and 2.0 fouls, while converting 51.4 percent of his field goals. At 26-years-old, Pelle has probably reached his ceiling as a player, which means that outside of getting his fouling problems under control, he probably won’t improve much beyond where he is now.
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That isn’t to say that Pelle isn’t valuable. His athletism and defensive instincts at the five spot makes him a hot commodity. In fact, after this past NBA Trade Deadline, there were several teams that would have been interested in Pelle if the Sixers decided to waive him, according to Keith Pompey of Philly.com.
That being said, he will probably draw some interest this summer once he becomes a free agent. While it’s not entirely impossible that the 76ers could bring him back, there are two factors that make his return to Philly unlikely.
The first being that the Sixers have five draft picks in this upcoming draft and it’s completely possible that they could end up taking a center with one of those picks. Adding a center on a cheap contract in the draft is a realistic option for the 76ers.
The other being that if there is still interest in Pelle, then there are probably teams willing to pay outside of a minimum contract in order to sign the big man. Philly’s salary cap next season won’t give them a lot of flexibility, so adding a third center on anything beyond a minimum salary doesn’t seem to make sense from a financial standpoint.
Pelle could certainly add solid depth as a third-string center for the Philadelphia 76ers, but as of now, it seems unlikely that he has a long future in Philadelphia.