Montrezl Harrell

Sixers Sign Montrezl Harrell To Two-Year Deal

SEPTEMBER 13: Harrell’s contract is official, the Sixers announced in a press release.

SEPTEMBER 6: Free agent big man Montrezl Harrell has 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 has 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 he had 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 over the course of his career. Veterans like Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond, and DeAndre Jordan had filled that role within the last couple seasons, but none are still under contract with the team, leaving youngsters Paul Reed and Charles Bassey as the top candidates to back up Embiid.

With Harrell under contract, it’s no longer a lock that both Reed and Bassey will make the 15-man regular season 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 and when they waive players who don’t have guaranteed salaries, notes ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

Southeast Notes: Clifford, Ball, Harrell, F. Wagner

A lot changed in the three years that Steve Clifford was away from the Hornets, but the most significant move has been the addition of LaMelo Ball, who appears destined for stardom after being selected with the third pick in the 2020 draft. In an interview with Roderick Boone of The Charlotte Observer, Clifford talked about the opportunity to coach one of the league’s best young players.

“(With) player development, the misconception is they only get better when they are young,” he said. “The better players have a goal, have a plan for every summer to get better no matter how old they are. And that’s what he’s doing. He has his things in different areas that he’s been working on.

“But I think the biggest thing for him — and I think he would tell you the same thing — is team success. The best players ultimately in our league are always judged by how well their team does. And I know he’s motivated for us to be a playoff team, which would be a good step. And I think in talking with him, that seems to be his vision.”

Ball earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2021 and followed that up with his first All-Star appearance last season while averaging 20.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 7.6 assists. He has already impressed Clifford with his offseason work ethic.

“He’s been great. He’s been here almost the whole summer,” Clifford said. “He likes to be in the gym. He works hard both on the court and in the weight room. I’ve enjoyed getting to know him, and I think that he’s ready or in a good place to get off to a good start. I mean, I think he’s done all the right things this summer, and I’ve been really impressed with him.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • After Montrezl Harrell agreed to a contract with the Sixers, he tweeted a message of thanks for being able to spend time with the Hornets in his home state. Harrell is headed to his sixth NBA team a few months after Charlotte acquired him from the Wizards at the trade deadline. “Blessed to have played for my home state,” he wrote, “only was 20-25 games but being back in the NC state was a blessing!”
  • Magic forward Franz Wagner is questionable for the EuroBasket quarterfinals after twisting his ankle in Germany’s win on Saturday, according to Eurohoops. Wagner didn’t return to the game after suffering the injury in the third quarter. There has been no official word on his status for Germany’s next game on Tuesday.
  • In case you missed it, we looked at the over/under totals for the Southeast Division this week and examined the extension case for Heat guard Tyler Herro.

Eastern Notes: Harrell, Gafford, Raptors, Pistons

Sixers free agent addition Montrezl Harrell would ideally be used as a situational player rather than a primary backup center, according to Kyle Neubeck of In 71 games (23.1 MPG) split between the Wizards and Hornets last season, Harrell averaged 13.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 2.0 APG while shooting 64.5% from the floor and a career-high 71.6% from the line.

As Neubeck observes, Harrell will not only be reunited with former Rockets teammate James Harden, who reportedly played a major role in recruiting Harrell, but he’ll be playing under Doc Rivers once again as well — his former Clippers head coach.

Harrell won the Sixth Man of the Year award with the Clippers and Rivers a couple of years ago, but struggled defensively in the postseason, and Rivers stubbornly stuck with him. It remains to be seen whether Rivers will be more flexible with his lineups than he has been in the past, Neubeck notes.

The 28-year-old’s distinct strengths (energy, finishing at the rim) and weaknesses (size, defense) make it hard to rely on him in every matchup, but he should be well-positioned for a more defined role behind Joel Embiid, Neubeck writes.

Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Scouts are split in their opinions regarding Wizards center Daniel Gafford due to his inconsistency, per Josh Robbins of The Athletic. Robbins takes an in-depth look at Gafford’s strengths and weaknesses, using video clips and stats, and querying scouts to get a well-rounded take on Gafford’s game and what he might develop into in the future.
  • The Raptors didn’t make any splashy offseason moves, and may not be a top contender to come out of the East, but they’re not stuck in the middle either, argues Eric Koreen of The Athletic. Toronto is trying to develop young players while being as competitive as possible, which is a difficult balancing act at times, but the team has successfully managed it in the past, according to Koreen, who adds that the Raptors have consistently exceeded their expected win totals under president Masai Ujiri.
  • In a mailbag column for The Athletic, James Edwards III tackles a number of Pistons-related topics. Edwards thinks second-year wing Isaiah Livers is a prime breakout candidate, Isaiah Stewart‘s three-point shooting from Summer League should carry over into the 2022/23 season, and veterans Cory Joseph, Alec Burks, Nerlens Noel and Kelly Olynyk should all have more trade value as the in-season deadline nears.

Atlantic Notes: J. Jackson, Barrett, Harden, Harrell, Sixers

Josh Jackson‘s one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Raptors is non-guaranteed for now, but would become fully guaranteed if he’s not waived on or before October 17, the day before the regular season tips off, Hoops Rumors has learned.

Jackson is one of several Raptors players who has a significant financial incentive to make the team’s opening night roster. Dalano Banton, Justin Champagnie, and D.J. Wilson would also receive full guarantees if they’re still under contract at that point.

Here’s more from around the Atlantic:

  • RJ Barrett‘s four-year contract extension with the Knicks includes exactly $107MM in guaranteed money and $13MM in total incentives, Hoops Rumors has confirmed. Like Barrett’s base salaries, his annual incentives increase by 8% a year, starting at $2,901,790 in 2023/24 and rising to $3,598,209 by ’26/27. Barrett’s starting base salary in year one of the extension is $23,883,929 — that figure will increase to $29,616,071 by ’26/27.
  • Sixers star James Harden played a major role in recruiting his former Rockets teammate Montrezl Harrell to Philadelphia, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). As Wojnarowski observes, Harden’s pay cut also created room under the hard cap for the 76ers to fit in Harrell’s minimum-salary contract.
  • In his latest mailbag, Kyle Neubeck of explores the possibility of the Sixers making a trade with the Jazz, evaluates De’Anthony Melton‘s potential role, considers how Philadelphia matches up with the new-look Cavs, and discusses several other 76ers-related topics.

Montrezl Harrell’s Felony Charge Reduced To Misdemeanor

Veteran NBA big man Montrezl Harrell, who was arrested in Kentucky earlier this year on marijuana charges, had his felony trafficking charge reduced to a misdemeanor possession charge, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link).

If Harrell remains in good legal standing for the next 12 months, the misdemeanor charge will be removed from his record, Haynes adds. Harrell was initially charged after police found three pounds of marijuana in his vehicle during a traffic stop in Richmond, Ky.

The reduced charge is good news for Harrell, who remains unsigned nearly two months after the 2022 free agent period opened. While the 28-year-old’s production has slipped in the last couple seasons since he earned Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2020, his ongoing availability seems more about his legal situation off the court than what he can provide on the court. Now that Harrell is facing a less serious charge, he could be in position to find a new NBA home before training camps begin in September.

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.

The former Louisville standout is a talented scorer, but doesn’t stretch the floor on offense and isn’t a rim protector on defense, limiting his appeal to some extent. Still, it would be a surprise if he doesn’t find a spot on an NBA roster this fall.

Eastern Notes: Harrell, Heat, Jovic, Nets, R. Williams

The Heat could have benefited from signing free agent big man Montrezl Harrell this summer, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel opines in an “Ask Ira” mailbag. While the Heat could still theoretically sign him, they re-signed Udonis Haslem last week, which means they can’t add another player to their regular season roster without going into the luxury tax.

Winderman believes the Heat could use Harrell’s size and energy. However, his inability to shoot from distance could make him an awkward fit, especially when playing alongside a non-shooter in Bam Adebayo.

Harrell split the 2021/22 season with the Wizards and Hornets, averaging 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 23.1 minutes per game. The Heat lost starting power forward P.J. Tucker to the Sixers last month and have a number of undersized options they can play at the four, including Jimmy Butler and Caleb Martin. Other East contenders such as the Celtics and Bucks start bigger lineups featuring Al Horford and Giannis Antetokounmpo, respectively, at power forward.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:

Southeast Notes: Herro, Ball, Harrell, Hornets, Beal

Heat guard Tyler Herro is eligible to sign a multi-year extension this offseason, which may cause a sense of urgency within the team to trade for Kevin Durant or Donovan Mitchell, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald writes.

Miami is known to covet Durant and Mitchell, both of whom would require giving up several assets in a trade. The main piece of any deal would likely be Herro, who averaged 20.7 points per game as the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year last season.

The Heat and Herro have until mid-October to reach an extension, which could be worth as much as $188MM across five seasons. A more realistic ballpark for Herro would be somewhere in the four-year, $100MM+ range. That, coupled with the poison pill provision, would make it difficult to trade Herro next season, as Chiang explores.

Here are some other notes from the Southeast:

  • Hornets summer league player LiAngelo Ball remains hopeful for a true shot with the team, Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer writes. Ball is playing summer league with Charlotte for the second straight year. “Every little chance I get, I’ve got to come in and do everything right and play hard,” Ball said as part of a larger quote. His brothers, LaMelo and Lonzo, currently start for the Hornets and Bulls, respectively.
  • Montrezl Harrell‘s court date has been pushed back until August, according to Sara Coello of the Charlotte Observer. Harrell was caught driving with three pounds of marijuana in Kentucky back in May. As Coello notes, Harrell’s offense could result in getting one-to-five years in prison, plus receiving a fine of up to $10K. Harrell finished last season with the Hornets and is now an unrestricted free agent.
  • Despite receiving interest from the Warriors last summer, Bradley Beal had no interest in being traded to Golden State, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said on The Dan Patrick Show (hat tip to RealGM). The Warriors ultimately won the championship, while Beal re-signed with the Wizards on a five-year, $251MM deal.

Montrezl Harrell Faces Felony Drug Charges

Hornets forward/center Montrezl Harrell was scheduled to be arraigned Monday on felony drug charges stemming from a traffic stop in Richmond, Ky., last month, according to Roderick Boone of the Charlotte Observer.

Harrell will be an unrestricted free agent next month.

Harrell, 28, was initially pulled over by a Kentucky state trooper on May 12 while driving on I-75 because the trooper said Harrell was following the vehicle in front of him too closely, according to the police report.

The trooper observed an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and Harrell “admitted to being in possession of marijuana and produced a small amount from his sweatpants,” according to the report.

A search of the vehicle, which Harrell claimed was rented, found three pounds of marijuana in vacuum sealed bags. He has been charged with trafficking less than five pounds of marijuana.

Under Kentucky law, possessing or trafficking eight or more ounces but less than five pounds of marijuana is a Class D Felony for first-time offenders. It is punishable by 1-5 years of incarceration with a fine ranging from $1-10,000. The Hornets declined comment, according to Boone.

The NBA stopped testing for marijuana in 2020 and that policy continued into this season. Harrell began the season with the Wizards and appeared in 46 games. He was traded to Charlotte in February and appeared in 25 more games, averaging 11.4 PPG and 4.9 RPG.

Hornets Notes: Hayward, Bridges, Coaching Search, Harrell, Washington

Hornets forward Gordon Hayward is a name to watch in the trade market, though injuries limit his value, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto, who conducted a podcast with Charlotte Observer beat reporter Rod Boone.

Hayward is regarded as a “neutral asset” that the Hornets can move. However, it’s unlikely they’ll benefit much in terms of cap space if they deal the veteran, who has two years and $61.5MM remaining on his contract. One executive told Scotto they might be able to move him for two players making around $10-15MM apiece.

The Pacers are an unlikely destination after trading away Domantas Sabonis and building around younger pieces.

More highlights from the podcast:

  • Both Scotto and Boone anticipate Miles Bridges will get $25MM or more annually in restricted free agency. Scotto sees Bridges as being coveted due to his status as a young, two-way, big wing. The Trail Blazers could pursue him if they can’t trade for Jerami Grant and teams with cap space, like the Pistons, could also be a factor. Boone believes he’ll return to the Hornets due to unfinished business with an improving team. The fact that he’s close with LaMelo Ball also works in Charlotte’s favor.
  • Neither Scotto nor Boone believe Mike D’Antoni is a viable option in the search for a head coach. Former Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Mavericks assistant Sean Sweeney are names to watch there. However, D’Antoni could wind up in Philadelphia if the Sixers let Doc Rivers go, according to Scotto.
  • Free agent Montrezl Harrell generally enjoyed playing with Charlotte this season and could return to the Hornets, depending upon the coaching hire. Harrell probably wouldn’t command more than the taxpayer mid-level on the open market, according to Scotto.
  • P.J. Washington, who is extension-eligible, is a movable piece and his name will pop up in trade rumors.

And-Ones: Kerr, Schofield, Lopez, Harrell, Play-In, McClung, Harrison

Would less be more? When it comes to the NBA schedule, Warriors coach Steve Kerr believes so. He’d like to see the NBA cut its regular season from 82 games to 72, Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area writes. That would encourage coaches to play their regulars more often, instead of giving them nights off, particularly as the season winds down.

What makes the most sense is cutting back to maybe a 72-game schedule,” Kerr said. “Take 10 games off and get more time to rest in between games. I think you’ll get buy-in from the teams to play their guys more often.”

We have more tidbits from around the basketball world:

  • Magic forward Admiral Schofield was fined $20K, while Magic center Robin Lopez and Hornets center Montrezl Harrell were fined $15K for their roles in an on-court altercation on Thursday, the NBA announced (Twitter link). All three were ejected during the fourth-quarter scuffle (video link).
  • Commissioner Adam Silver likes the way the play-in tournament has encouraged teams on the playoff bubble to remain competitive but might tweak it in future years, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic tweets. Executive VP of basketball strategy and analytics Evan Wasch suggested the league would consider a scenario where the ninth- and 10th-place finishers in each conference would have to win a certain number of games to qualify for the play-in.
  • Guard Mac McClung was named NBA G League Rookie of the Year after averaging 21.6 PPG and 7.6 APG for the South Bay Lakers, the league tweets. The Lakers rewarded McClung with a two-way contract on Saturday.
  • Free agent guard Shaquille Harrison has been named G League Defensive Player of the Year, according to a league press release. Harrison averaged 1.93 steals per game for the Delaware Blue Coats.