The Philadelphia 76ers are signing veteran big Montrezl Harrell to a two-year deal. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the move. It’s since been confirmed to Liberty Ballers by a team source.
ESPN Sources: Free agent C Montrezl Harrell is signing two-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, including a player option. Harrell brings more toughness to a team searching for it this offseason. He was Sixth Man of the Year with Doc Rivers/Sam Cassell in 2019-2020 w/ Clippers.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 6, 2022
As Wojnarowski notes, Harrell previously played under head coach Doc Rivers and assistant Sam Casell with the Los Angeles Clippers from 2017-2020. He was also a member of the Houston Rockets for two seasons when Sixers President of Basketball Operations, Daryl Morey, was general manager.
Harden, a former teammate of Harrell’s in Houston, also reportedly had a hand in bringing him to Philadelphia.
James Harden played a part in bringing Harrell to Philadelphia too --- both with his contract creating roster flexibility and recruiting him to take on the role of backup center with the Sixers. They have history together with the Rockets.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 6, 2022
Last season, Harrell played a combined 71 games for the Washington Wizards (46) and Charlotte Hornets (25). He averaged 13.1 points (68 percent true shooting), 6.1 rebounds and two assists in 23.1 minutes a night.
Harrell is an absolutely dominant roller, which will pair well with Harden whenever Joel Embiid rests. Yet he’s struggled immensely to survive defensively during his slew of playoff appearances. Rivers’ steadfast commitment to veteran bigs is worrying as it pertains to a willingness to entertain other reserve options if Harrell scuffles in the postseason again.
But Harrell will assuredly help the Sixers win many regular-season games, which could take some pressure off Harden and Embiid at times. There are obvious benefit to acquiring him, though I fully understand the hesitancies as well and generally side with them.