Montrezl Harrell

Montrezl Harrell Undergoes Knee Surgery

Sixers big man Montrezl Harrell had successful surgery on his right knee, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Harrell suffered a torn ACL and a medial meniscus tear earlier this summer.

Philadelphia has opted to keep Harrell on its roster even though the minimum-salary contract he signed in July only covers one year. The team has a surplus of centers with Mohamed Bamba, Paul Reed and Filip Petrusev all capable of backing up Joel Embiid.

Because he was a free agent this summer, Harrell won’t become eligible to be traded until December 15. He gave up his right to veto a trade when he re-signed with the Sixers.

Harrell, 29, originally came to Philadelphia as a free agent last summer, signing a two-year deal with a player option. He re-signed in mid-July after turning down the option and testing the free agent market.

Harrell appeared in 57 games during his first season with the Sixers, averaging 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per night. An offseason coaching change and the presence of so many other big men on the roster left him with an uncertain role for the upcoming season even before the knee injury.

It often takes players a year or more to recover from an ACL tear, so it’s possible that Harrell will miss the entire season before becoming a free agent again next summer.

Atlantic Notes: Harrell, Nets, Hart, Brown

Although reserve big man Montrezl Harrell tore the ACL and medial meniscus in his right knee this summer, the Sixers intend to keep him on their roster, at least for the time being, per Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Though Pompey notes that Harrell, who inked a one-year, minimum-salary contract to return to the Sixers, most likely will not recuperate in time to play for the team in 2023/24, he believes retaining the former Sixth Man of the Year is the right play. Pompey suggests the Sixers could look to package his salary in a trade later.

Given that Harrell was the third or possibly fourth center on the club’s depth chart, he wasn’t likely to have played major minutes anyway. The 6’7″ vet averaged 5.6 PPG and 2.8 RPG in 2022/23, his lowest numbers since his 2015/16 rookie season.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • The Nets still have three roster spots – including one two-way slot – open ahead of training camp this fall, Net Income of Nets Daily writes. Net Income notes that the team still has its bi-annual exception and full mid-level exception at its disposal, and its $157MM in cumulative player salary puts it $9MM beneath the NBA’s $165MM luxury tax threshold. The free agent market at this point is a bit threadbare, so one wonders if Brooklyn would opt to use more than a veteran’s minimum on any of the still-available personnel.
  • Knicks swingman Josh Hart becomes extension-eligible on August 9, but as Fred Katz of The Athletic notes, that isn’t stopping him from partaking in Team USA during this month’s FIBA World Cup. Katz writes that the typical move these days for players with big money potentially on the line is to preserve their bodies and avoid possible offseason injuries until a deal is done, but Hart is happy to buck that trend. An extension of his current deal could net him, at most, a four-year contract worth up to $81.3MM.
  • Although he inked a new five-year, maximum-salary contract extension this offseason, All-Star Celtics wing Jaylen Brown still has one glaring issue in his game: protecting the ball. As Jared Weiss of The Athletic notes, Brown coughed up the ball 66 times during the 2023 playoffs, including eight incredibly costly turnovers in a Game 7 Eastern Conference Finals defeat against the Heat. Weiss takes a look at how Brown might be able to limit this particular problem going forward.

Sixers’ Montrezl Harrell Has Torn ACL, Meniscus

Sixers center Montrezl Harrell underwent an MRI on Wednesday to evaluate swelling in his right knee following offseason workouts, and the results weren’t good. According to the team, Harrell has been diagnosed with a torn ACL and a medial meniscus tear (Twitter link via Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer).

It’s a brutal blow for both Harrell and the Sixers, who re-signed the big man to a guaranteed one-year, minimum-salary contract last month after he turned down a player option to reach free agency.

Harrell, 29, didn’t see significant playing time in Philadelphia’s rotation last season, averaging 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in just 11.9 minutes per game across 57 appearances.

However, the 76ers will have a new head coach in 2023/24, with Nick Nurse replacing Doc Rivers, so Harrell wasn’t necessarily in line for the same limited role going forward. In his previous five seasons, he had put up 14.5 PPG and 5.9 RPG in 361 games (23.3 MPG), earning Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2020.

The Sixers’ announcement today didn’t include any sort of recovery timeline for Harrell, but a torn ACL typically requires upwards of a year – if not more – to come back from. We’ll have to wait more clarity on the veteran’s prognosis and the team’s plans for him, but if the injury is deemed season-ending and Philadelphia is comfortable eating the salary and accompanying luxury tax hit, Harrell could be waived to open up a roster spot for another player.

The 76ers should still have a good amount of depth up front with or without Harrell. Mohamed Bamba, Paul Reed, and Filip Petrusev are expected to compete for frontcourt minutes behind reigning MVP Joel Embiid.

Contract Details: Noel, Dowtin, White, Jordan, Matthews, More

The one-year, minimum-salary contract that Nerlens Noel signed with the Kings is currently only partially guaranteed for $300K, Hoops Rumors has learned. Noel would see his partial guarantee increase to $600K if he hasn’t been waived by the first game of the regular season this fall. In order to receive his full salary, he’d need to remain under contract through at least January 7.

Here are more details on a few recently signed NBA contracts:

  • Jeff Dowtin‘s one-year, minimum-salary contract with the Raptors is fully non-guaranteed for the time being. However, the guard would receive a partial guarantee worth $900K if he’s not waived on or before October 21, reports Blake Murphy of (Twitter link).
  • The Thunder signed Jack White to a two-year, minimum-salary contract that includes a $600K partial guarantee in year one and a team option for 2024/25, Hoops Rumors has learned.
  • The one-year, minimum-salary deals signed by DeAndre Jordan (Nuggets) and Wesley Matthews (Hawks) are fully guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned.
  • The two-way contracts signed by Omari Moore (Bucks) and Leaky Black (Hornets) cover two years rather than just one, Hoops Rumors has learned.
  • Sixers center Montrezl Harrell and Nuggets guard Reggie Jackson waived their right to veto trades during their 2023/24 season, Hoops Rumors has learned. As we detailed earlier today, players who re-sign with their previous teams on one-year deals (or two-year deals with a second-year option) get trade veto rights by default, but can choose to give up those rights.

Montrezl Harrell Returns To Sixers On One-Year Deal

JULY 18: Harrell has officially re-signed with the Sixers, according to’s transaction log.

JULY 6: Free agent big man Montrezl Harrell is returning to the Sixers on a one-year contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports (via Twitter).

Harrell became a free agent when he declined his veteran’s minimum-salary option for next season. He settled for another veteran’s minimum contract that’s fully guaranteed, Kyle Neubeck of Philly Voice tweets.

Because Harrell’s option salary had been based on a 5% raise and the cap increased by 10%, his new salary ($2.89MM) will top the one he would’ve received on his old contract ($2.76MM), so he made the right call to opt out. Philadelphia will carry a $2.02MM cap hit for the 29-year-old in 2023/24.

Harrell appeared in 57 games for the Sixers in 2022/23, averaging 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per night. He only appeared in two postseason games.

Prior to last season, Harrell had posted career averages of 12.9 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 21.5 MPG across 458 games, earning Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2020. His numbers this past season were his lowest since his rookie year (2015/16).

Harrell will once again fight for rotation minutes in Philadelphia, this time with Nick Nurse making those decisions.

The agreement between Harrell and the Sixers puts into question the status of restricted free agent Paul Reed. Philadelphia is adding another big man, Mohamed Bamba, on a one-year deal.

Sixers’ Harrell To Decline Option, Become Free Agent

Sixers big man Montrezl Harrell will turn down his minimum-salary player option for the 2023/24 season and become an unrestricted free agent, league sources tell Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report and TNT (Twitter link).

Harrell signed with Philadelphia last September on a two-year, minimum-salary contract that gave him the ability to opt out after the first season. The 29-year-old appeared in 57 games in 2022/23, averaging 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per night.

Prior to this season, Harrell had posted career averages of 12.9 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 21.5 MPG across 458 games, earning Sixth Man of the Year honors in 2020. His numbers this past season were his lowest since his rookie year (2015/16).

While Harrell’s modest production in Philadelphia won’t exactly line him up for a big payday this summer, his decision to opt out suggests he’s confident he’ll at least get another minimum-salary offer from an NBA team.

Assuming he gets a guaranteed minimum deal, the former Louisville standout will come out ahead, since his player option was worth $2,760,026 and his projected minimum salary on a new contract next season is $2,848,506.

As our tracker shows, Harrell is one of three Sixers with a player option for 2023/24. Danuel House exercised his $4.3MM option, while James Harden is expected to decline his $35.6MM option

Sixers Notes: Trade Deadline, Fultz, Niang, Milton

The Sixers are hoping to land a reliable backup center before next week’s trade deadline, sources tell Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed have been filling that role, but Harrell hasn’t been strong defensively and the coaching staff doesn’t fully trust Reed, according to Neubeck.

Neubeck states that the front office is willing to add another big man even if it can’t get rid of Harrell or Reed in the same deal. He mentions former Sixer Andre Drummond, whom the Bulls are reportedly open to trading, as an example of the type of traditional center the team wants to acquire.

Several teams have contacted the Timberwolves about Naz Reid, but Neubeck doesn’t expect him to be an option for Philadelphia. He also says the decision could wait for the buyout market, although it could be tough to find a long-term solution who’s content to be a backup for Embiid.

There’s more from Philadelphia:

  • Furkan Korkmaz, Danuel House and Jaden Springer are the best candidates to be moved in the type of deals the Sixers are considering, Neubeck adds. He hears from sources that Matisse Thybulle would likely be included in a “higher-end” trade, with the Kings among several teams that have shown interest in the fourth-year guard. Shake Milton, who’s headed for free agency after the season, could be useful as a trade sweetener, according to Neubeck.
  • Magic guard Markelle Fultz had 12 points and 10 assists Monday night while playing his first game in Philadelphia since being traded to Orlando in 2019, notes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers had hoped Fultz would be part of their foundation after drafting him first overall in 2017, but a combination of injuries and shooting difficulties led to him playing just 33 combined games in his two seasons with the team. “I’ve always been a big fan,” Embiid said of his former teammate. “When we traded him, I was disappointed because I felt like we were giving up on him too early.”
  • Georges Niang and Milton believe too much was made about an on-court argument they had during Saturday’s nationally televised game, per Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Niang was upset about not getting a pass from Milton on a two-on-one break, but they both joked about the incident afterward. “I just told both of them to let it go, that we had a [expletive] game to win,” Embiid said. “I think it’s also good for the team, not a bad thing. Guys get into each other, that makes us better. … After the game, we’re all laughing.”

Atlantic Notes: VanVleet, R. Williams, Harrell, Reed, Thybulle

Fred VanVleet‘s extension talks with the Raptors are on hold, but he indicated Sunday that he hopes to reach a long-term deal to stay in Toronto, writes Tim Bontemps of ESPN. VanVleet confirmed to reporters that he and the team had discussions about a four-year, $114MM extension before the start of the season, but they made a mutual decision to wait. A new deal can be reached any time up to June 30 if he turns down his player option for 2023/24.

“Without going too far into it … [I’m] just trying to put myself in a good position business-wise, and not take an extension on a deal that was made three or four years ago,” VanVleet said.“I felt like I’ve outplayed that contract thus far. So just trying to get myself in a position to put the cards in their hands. They got to make a decision from an organization standpoint. I love being here. I love being a Raptor. I got a great relationship with (team president) Masai (Ujiri) and (general manager) Bobby (Webster), so I’m confident that we could find (a deal). It’s a great partnership that we have, so going forward, I’m not going to make it easy on them and they’re not going to make it on me either, and that’s the way it’s going.”

VanVleet’s comments are contained in a story on why Toronto might be active ahead of the trade deadline following a disappointing 17-23 start. An Eastern Conference executive told Bontemps that the Raptors will have “plenty of interest” in their top players if they decide to make them available.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Celtics center Robert Williams has only averaged 19.4 minutes in nine games since returning from knee surgery, but he’s making enough of an impact that coach Joe Mazzulla will have to consider making him a starter again, contends Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Williams is averaging 7.9 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in that limited time, and Boston has been more effective when he’s been on the court. “Whether he starts or comes off the bench, just want him on the floor, want him healthy,” Jayson Tatum said. “Want to be on the floor with him at the same time as much as possible. I’m going to start, so I’d like Rob to start. But whatever is best for the team, he’ll do that.”
  • With Joel Embiid still sidelined, Sixers backup centers Montrezl Harrell and Paul Reed combined for 36 points Sunday as both made a strong case for more playing time, notes Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice. Neubeck believes Harrell is in a better position to get consistent minutes once Embiid returns, but says questions persist about his ability to protect the rim.
  • Matisse Thybulle went through two stretches where he wasn’t part of the Sixers‘ rotation this season, but he’s been showing his defensive value lately, observes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. Thybulle had five steals Sunday against the Pistons, and Tyrese Maxey said, “At this point, I think they were just passing it to him.”

Sixers Notes: Embiid, Harrell, Drummond, Rivers

Friday marked Joel Embiid‘s second straight missed game due to left foot soreness, but head coach Doc Rivers said the team is confident it won’t be a long-term injury, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps (Twitter link). Rivers added that Embiid is “doing better,” but he isn’t sure how long the Sixers‘ star center will be sidelined.

Embiid landed on Jaxson Hayes‘ foot during the fourth quarter of Monday’s game vs. New Orleans. The 28-year-old is having another incredible season, averaging 33.5 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.2 SPG and 1.7 BPG on .532/.341/.853 shooting through 28 games (35.5 MPG).

Even after dropping Friday’s game, Philadelphia has a winning record (6-4) so far without Embiid this season, which is impressive considering how important he is to the team.

Here’s more on the Sixers:

  • Backup big man Montrezl Harrell had a tumultuous offseason after being arrested on a felony marijuana trafficking charge, which was later reduced to a misdemeanor possession charge. He wound up signing a two-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Sixers, and had a slow start to the 2022/23 season, splitting minutes with Paul Reed at backup center. However, he’s had a bigger role with Embiid sidelined, and it’s an opportunity he doesn’t take for granted, according to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I had a lot of stuff transpire … especially in the beginning of the season,” Harrell said Wednesday night. “So just to be able to be out here and play this game and still be able to call it my job is a blessing.” Harrell is averaging 18.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.0 SPG and 2.0 BPG in 25.4 MPG over the past two contests.
  • Former Sixers center Andre Drummond said he was “definitely blindsided” by last season’s trade to the Nets, writes Gina Mizell of The Philadelphia Inquirer (subscription required). Drummond, Seth Curry and Ben Simmons were shipped to Brooklyn for James Harden. Drummond wound up signing a two-year deal with the Bulls in the offseason, but he still has found memories of his time with the Sixers, per Mizell. “They welcomed me. They made me feel very comfortable when I got here,” Drummond said Friday night. “We just had a lot of fun as a team. We really cared about each other. We had one common goal, which was to win as many games as possible and to be great. … “[It’s] sad that we had to break things up in February. Definitely miss playing here. … The city of Philadelphia, man, the fan base was one of a kind. I loved it here.”
  • In his latest mailbag for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Pompey writes that Rivers’ job should be safe until at least the offseason due to injuries to Embiid, Harden and Tyrese Maxey. The Sixers have gone 23-12 after a 0-3 start, and the starting lineup has only played six of 38 games together thus far. However, Pompey believes Rivers might get fired if the Sixers have another disappointing playoff exit. Pompey also thinks Philadelphia will keep its 15th roster spot open until at least the February 9 trade deadline, if not longer.

Sixers Notes: Tucker, Harden, Milton, Reed

P.J. Tucker only has three combined points in his last seven games, but he’s not concerned about a lack of offense, writes Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers won five of those games, even with their three best players missing time, and Tucker seems comfortable with his current role.

“As long as we’re winning, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “Of course you want to get more shots. What player doesn’t? But with the way we play — Coach (Doc Rivers) talks about a lack of ball movement all the time — it’s one of those things. Sometimes you get shots, sometimes you don’t. You keep playing and figure it out.”

Philadelphia obviously didn’t sign Tucker over the summer because of his scoring. It was his defensive presence and other intangibles that convinced the team to give him a three-year, $33.2MM contract. Still, Pompey states that his lack of involvement in the offense can be concerning. Tucker spends many possessions spotting up in the corner, and he’s often out of rhythm when he does get a chance to shoot.

“Sometimes you get shots,” Tucker said. “Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes the ball moves, sometimes it doesn’t. Without having (Joel Embiid), (the) ball’s got to pop. Ball’s got to move. Make easy shots for each other. It is what it is.”

There’s more on the Sixers:

  • James Harden, who has been out of action since November 2 with a strained tendon in his right foot, may be ready to return in a few days, Pompey adds. “It’s different with James because James kind of controls the game,” Tucker said. “He gets everybody the ball. Without James, it’s tough — that’s why the ball has to move even more.”
  • Shake Milton has made a strong case for rotation minutes once Harden and Tyrese Maxey are back on the court, according to Rich Hofmann of The Athletic. Milton has averaged 22.8 points and 6.8 rebounds over the past four games, along with 7.8 assists and only 2.5 turnovers. He’s also shooting .589/.500/.938 during that span. Hofmann notes that Milton was playing well before the stars were injured and shouldn’t be considered the team’s 11th man anymore.
  • Paul Reed is learning to be more patient on offense and may be the choice for backup center minutes ahead of Montrezl Harrell once Embiid returns, Hofmann adds.