Sixers Latest Addition Could Spell Trouble for Fan Favorite

Philadelphia 76ers, Paul Reed

Getty Paul Reed #44 and James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers talk.

The Philadelphia 76ers had a busy offseason, and Daryl Morey is still not done putting the finishing touches on the roster before the start of this upcoming season. After months of speculation on what the team will do at backup center behind Joel Embiid, the answer has finally come about. ESPN’s Adrain Wojnarowski reported the team signed former Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell to a two-year deal.

Harrell was arrested earlier this summer after being pulled over with three pounds of marijuana in his car but recently had his charges reduced to a misdemeanor. This opened the door for the veteran center to reunite with Doc Rivers, whom he played under during his time with the LA Clippers. 

Before this signing went down, many expected fan favorite Paul Reed and Charles Bassey to compete for minutes behind Embiid. With an established sixth man now in the mix, questions are already starting to arise on what could happen to the pair of young bigs.

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Harrell, 28, played in 71 games last season for the Charlotte Hornets and Washington Wizards. In that time, he averaged 13.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG, and 2.0 APG.

Does This Signing Mean the End of the Paul Reed Experiment?

Daryl Morey has made all these moves to put the Sixers in the best position possible to compete for a championship. Given that Harrell is something that has thrived in the sixth man role, it could mark the end of Paul Reed getting his chance to crack Doc Rivers’ rotation.

When Reed was called on to play behind Embiid last playoffs, he rose to the occasion. The former G-League MVP averaged 3.7 PPG and 3.8 RPG while playing roughly 12 minutes per game. Despite his rather impressive run on the big stage, the team opted to go with experience. 

Between the log jam at power forward and the addition of an established backup, Reed will be fighting an uphill battle in 2023 as he attempts to secure playing time.

James Harden’s Selflessness Continues to Pay Dividends for Sixers

Following the signing of Harrell, it’s hard to deny that Morey had multiple wins in the margins this summer. However, none of this would have been possible if not for the decision of James Harden.

Heading into this offseason, the All-Star point guard had the choice to opt into his $47 million player option or negotiate a new deal. Not only did he turn down the big payday but took close to a $15 million pay cut. With more cap flexibility, Morey was able to go out and sign P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr. in free agency.

Along with creating the opportunity to sign Harrell, Harden had a bigger role in making this reunion possible. Adrian Wojnarowski reported the former MVP helped recruit him to Philly.

Before joining Doc Rivers in LA, Harrell played in 97 games for the Houston Rockets between 2015 and 2017. During that span, he posted averages of 6.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG, and 0.8 APG.

Solidifying the backup center spot is a big win for the Sixers heading into this season. With even more depth at their disposal, the pieces are in place for them to be a force in the Eastern Conference.

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