Free agent big man Montrezl Harrell agreed to sign a two-year contract with the Sixers, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, who reports (via Twitter) that the second year will be a player option.
While Wojnarowski doesn’t specify the terms of the agreement, Philadelphia already used its full mid-level exception and bi-annual exception to sign P.J. Tucker and Danuel House, respectively, and doesn’t have a ton of breathing room below the hard cap. As such, it seems safe to assume Harrell’s deal will be worth the veteran’s minimum.
A minimum-salary contract would pay Harrell $2,463,490 in 2022-23, with a $2,760,026 player option for ’23-24.
Harrell’s deal with the Sixers comes less than a week after word broke that the felony drug trafficking charge that he faced in Kentucky was reduced to a misdemeanor possession charge. If the 28-year-old remains in good legal standing for the next 12 months, the misdemeanor charge will be removed from his record.
Harrell was initially charged after police found three pounds of marijuana in his vehicle during a traffic stop in Richmond, Ky. His legal situation appeared to affect his free agent market, as it took more than two months for him to find a new NBA home after he spent last season in Washington and Charlotte.
A seven-year veteran, Harrell appeared in 71 total games for the Wizards and Hornets in 2021-22, averaging 13.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG and 2.0 APG on 64.5% shooting in 23.1 minutes per contest. He’s just two years removed from winning a Sixth Man of the Year Award with the Clippers in 2020.
Harrell will provide the 76ers with some reliable depth at the five behind perennial MVP candidate Joel Embiid, who has battled a series of injuries in the past. Veterans like Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan filled that role within the last couple seasons, but none are still under contract with the team, leaving the likes of Paul Reed and Charles Bassey as the top candidates to back up Embiid.
With Harrell under contract, Bassey may no longer be a lock to make the roster. Assuming Harrell’s contract is fully guaranteed, Philadelphia will have 13 players on guaranteed deals, with Trevelin Queen, Isaiah Joe, Reed and Bassey on partially guaranteed or non-guaranteed contracts. The team will have to trade or release at least two players before opening night.
Following the signing of Harrell, the Sixers will be just $766K below the hard cap, but they should get some extra relief if they cut one or two players without guaranteed salaries, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).