Sixers: Pros and cons of Montrezl Harrell signing

Montrezl Harrell, Sixers (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Montrezl Harrell, Sixers (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Con to Sixers signing Montrezl Harrell: Anti-youth movement

The Sixers have one goal: win the NBA championship. They can’t get too caught up in any “youth movement,” because the goal is to win games. That said, Paul Reed proved himself more than capable of being Embiid’s full-time backup last season. He’s an exciting young talent who has shown ample room for further growth on both sides of the ball. Now, he’s going to be riding the bench again.

There’s a slight chance Rivers alternates between Harrell and Reed based on matchup, or even plays them simultaneously, but the odds lean heavily in favor of Harrell eating all the non-Embiid minutes at center. For better or worse.

Harrell is probably the more reliable regular season player at this point, but he’s unplayable in the postseason due to defensive limitations. That is not the case for Reed. There’s also the matter of Reed’s contract. He’s entering the final year of his rookie deal. At 23 years old, Reed has shown the potential to match or exceed Harrell’s impact at some point down the line. Is the added stability of Harrell in the regular season worth risking valuable development opportunities for Reed. Should the Sixers not focus on seeing what they have in Reed before making a decision on his future?

This is partially a Doc Rivers problem. Harrell is more than talented enough to warrant the investment. In fact, it’s an objectively good signing. But with Rivers at the helm, his lack of flexibility could inhibit Reed’s immediate development.