It’s time for the Philadelphia 76ers to move on Montrezl Harrell

Philadelphia 76ers, Montrezl Harrell (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Philadelphia 76ers, Montrezl Harrell (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

There were mixed reviews from fans when the Philadelphia 76ers announced this past offseason that they have signed former sixth man of the year Montrezl Harrell. I myself tried to have an optimistic viewpoint of the signing myself, but now I see that viewpoint was misinformed.

The idea of the signing at the time made sense. Getting a proven bench scorer in his prime at a minimum deal. However, that hasn’t been the result of the 10-game sample size. Harrell hasn’t done the one thing he was brought in to do and that is to score.

The Philadelphia 76ers need to move on from the underperforming Harrell.

Thus far this season Harrell is averaging 4.0 points per game on a career-low 50.0 percent shooting. That’s his lowest points per game average outside of his rookie year by a small margin. Why is his offense coming to a slow start important some may ask, it’s because he’s never provided much defensively.

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This season he has a 114 defensive rating of per 100 possessions, which is tied for his career worst. If he can’t provide offense and has always been unreliable defensive then there’s no point of having him on the roster.

In his defense, he’s also playing the second lowest minutes per game of his career at 12.2 minutes. Harrell is a volume scorer so he needs all the minutes he can get as many shot attempts as possible. That’s not going to happen with Joel Embiid as the starter.

For whatever reason head coach Doc Rivers is fixedated on playing Harrell over young big man Paul Reed who proved himself reliable last postseason. To save the team and Rivers from himself, president of basketball operations Darryl Morey has to make a hard decision.

They have to waive or trade (when free agent signing restriction is passed) Harrell. On The Sixer Sense Podcast I’ve advocated that Sixers need to waive the center and pursue free agent big man Hassan Whiteside. Whiteside is a good pick-and-roll big man on offense and defensively is good as a rim protector as well as a rebounder.

In short, Rivers can’t get out of his own way and refuses to bench Harrell over Reed. As a result, if Rivers is going to keep Paul Reed, then on the bench it’s the Philadelphia 76ers’ front office’s responsibility to put a veteran in place that can be more reliable than Harrell.

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