The Philadelphia 76ers have arguably the best center in the NBA, but even Joel Embiid has to get rest sometimes and his backup currently leaves a lot to be desired.
It sounds like head coach Doc Rivers plans on using a combination of Paul Reed and DeAndre Jordan to fill those minutes. What’s difficult is the fact the team is so good with Embiid on the floor, that of course a drop off will happen when he’s gone, but the team has to do something about the steep decline that always seems to happen.
Although it might not have seemed like it at the time, letting go of Andre Drummond in the James Harden trade ended up being a big move as it left the Sixers without a capable backup.
Jordan was signed through the buyout market, and he’s been a mixed bag with the team, and many fans believe the team would be better off if he was given no minutes at all.
In the offseason, the Sixers will have to sign a new backup to play in the non-Embiid minutes and picking up Montrezl Harrell would be a good name to target. Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey floats the Sixers as an ideal landing spot for him in the offseason.
Harrell to the Sixers
While Harrell does seem capable of starting on a team, he might be better suited to being a high-energy backup or even somebody who can slide in at the power forward spot alongside Embiid.
Harrell has proven himself to be a strong backup, and that’s exactly what the Sixers will be looking for this offseason.
“After trading Andre Drummond to the Brooklyn Nets as part of the Ben Simmons deal, the Philadelphia 76ers need a backup center,” wrote Bailey. “And Montrezl Harrell has filled that role about as well as anyone in the league for multiple teams.”
Of course, the team will have to fit him in on a team-friendly deal since they have big salaries to pay to both James Harden and Embiid. After bouncing around with three teams in the past year, Harrell could be looking for more job security, and that’s some the Sixers could provide.
Should They Do It?
Once the season concludes, it’s tough to imagine a world where Jordan finds his way back to the Sixers, and that would mean Paul Reed becomes the main backup. It doesn’t seem like Rivers wants that to be the case, so the team would have to go out and get somebody.
Whether that means they’ll go after Harrell or even take a gamble on Drummond returning remains to be seen. What is clear is they need to do something because the current backups they have on the team just don’t seem to be cutting it. For a team with championship aspirations, it’s tough to have such a glaring weakness.
If the Sixers flame out in the playoffs again, look for this to be one of the team’s top priorities.
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