It’s official: The 76ers have made room for Norvel Pelle.
The Sixers converted the reserve center’s two-way contract into a standard one on Friday, and he will be available for tonight’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies at the Wells Fargo Center. The team waived Jonah Bolden to create space for Pelle on the 15-man roster.
The contract is for the rest of this season with a team option for next season. Next season will become guaranteed for $1.5 million if he’s not waived by July 6.
Converting Pelle’s contract had been the plan since the 45th and final day of his two-way contract passed on Jan. 22, after a game against the Toronto Raptors. Instead of waiving a player at that time to create a spot, the Sixers chose to first see if they could make a trade to create an opening. As a result, Pelle and his agent, Tod Seidel, had to remain patient with the Sixers, hoping something would eventually work out.
Well, the trade deadline passed at 3 p.m. Thursday, and the Sixers then created a spot for Pelle.
Pelle has averaged 2.5 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 11.1 minutes in 14 appearances this season with the Sixers. He had four blocks against the New York Knicks in his debut Nov. 29. The 26-year-old also has recorded three blocks in a game twice.
The California native is the team’s best rim protector.
The Sixers selected Bolden with 36th overall pick of the 2017 NBA draft. With the team lacking a roster spot, the 6-foot-10 forward spent the 2017-18 season playing for Maccabi Tel Aviv of the Israeli Premier League and the EuroLeague. He joined the Sixers last season.
The Australian made only four NBA appearances this season, spending a lot of time with the Sixers NBA G League team, the Delaware Blue Coats.
Kyle O’Quinn, a Sixers reserve center, wanted to be waived on Friday, The Inquirer has learned. However, that’s not going to happen at this time.
If O’Quinn is waived before March 1, he’ll be eligible to be picked by another playoff team. But if the Sixers find a player on the buyout market, they would have to waive one of their players to create a roster spot. That could lead to the 6-foot-9, 250-pounder ultimately getting a release.
The Sixers signed 29-year-old to a one-year, veteran minimum contract for $2.1 million in July. They were looking for the eighth-year veteran to provide depth.
O’Quinn is averaging 3.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 10 minutes in 22 appearances with one start.