The Philadelphia 76ers have made some major changes this week, from trading Al Horford to drafting Tyrese Maxey in Thursday’s NBA Draft. But today we have some smaller updates regarding the bottom of the roster.
Firstly, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the Sixers are waiving center Norvel Pelle.
The #Sixers are waiving center Norvel Pelle, sources tell @PhillyInquirer. Pelle had a non-guaranteed contract, which would have turned guaranteed for $1.5 million if not waived by tomorrow.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) November 19, 2020
Pelle appeared in 24 games for the Sixers last season. He obviously had his struggles as a very limited offensive player with an awfully high foul rate (8.5 per 36 minutes) due to his defensive miscues, but he did have some bright moments with his athleticism and flashes of shot-blocking talent.
The next update came from The Athletic’s Derek Bodner, who reported that the Sixers will be signing 6’4”, 25-year-old guard Dakota Mathias to a two-way contract.
The Philadelphia 76ers will sign guard Dakota Mathias to a two-way contract, per source. Mathias, 25, played for the Texas Legends last year, the Mavs' G-League affiliate, where he averaged 18.1 points and 3.1 assists per game, shooting 39.5% on 8.9 three-point attempts per game.— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) November 19, 2020
I didn’t know about Mathias’ game before this news, although a quick look at his stats and a few highlights indicates that he’s a talented shooter at the very least, with the ability to hit shots off movement and some off the bounce. Before he went to the G League and put up the impressive shooting numbers that Bodner mentioned, Mathias spent four years in college at Purdue, starting in 2014-15. His three-point volume and efficiency took off in the second half of his time there, as he shot 46 percent from three on 5.1 attempts per game over his final two seasons.
The Sixers are thin at center behind Joel Embiid now. Horford and Pelle are gone, and Kyle O’Quinn, who’s on an expiring contract, is likely looking for a new opportunity elsewhere after hardly playing last season.
Who the Sixers can pick up on a minimum deal or using the taxpayer mid-level exception (worth $5.7 million) will be a key storyline to follow with free agency set to officially start this Friday at 6 PM ET. As LB’s Harrison Grimm just looked at in his latest piece, perhaps Nerlens Noel making a return could be a good move for Philly.