The 76ers have to make a major decision on Norvel Pelle.
He’s closing in on the maximum number of days (45) an NBA team is allowed to bring up a player on a two-way contract. The Sixers will either sign him to the regular 15-man roster or part ways with the big man.
“We love his energy,” Sixers general manager Elton Brand said. “We love his shot-blocking ability, a great young talent. We still got about two weeks before I really have to cross that path. But I like what he’s brought for us, for sure.”
NBA rosters expanded from 15 to 17 players two years ago. The two added spots are for two-way players who go between the NBA and the G-League. As a result, the Sixers’ two-way players, Pelle and Marial Shayock, are also members of the Delaware Blue Coats. But there’s a chance that Pelle’s 45 days could conclude on or around Jan. 10.
The Sixers would have to waive or trade someone from their 15-man roster to create a spot for Pelle.
Pelle is the team’s best rim protector, if not one of the NBA’s best.
The rookie is averaging 2.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 9.0 minutes in his seven appearances. Pelle made his NBA debut against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 29. The 6-foot-10, 235-pounder finished with three points, two rebounds, one assist and a career-high four blocks in 12 minutes, 33 seconds of action.
Pelle has moved ahead of veteran big man Kyle O’Quinn at center on the Sixers’ depth chart. He’s behind Embiid and power forward/center Al Horford. As a result, Pelle backs up Horford at center on nights Embiid sits.