A former Sixers big man is joining the mega-team they’ve built up in Brooklyn.
Norvel Pelle, the 27-year-old center who played 24 games for the Sixers last season, is set to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, taking one of the free roster spots created after the Nets’ massive deal for James Harden earlier this month, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski:
In a move to fortify bench with size, F/C Norvel Pelle plans to sign with the Brooklyn Nets once he clears testing protocols: https://t.co/znEoyb3bYv
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 22, 2021
Pelle was a late-game hero last year with the Sixers, averaging 2.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game in just 9.7 minutes of action per night.
Pelle’s game is fairly limited offensively, but he has serious defensive upside: he made a mark with copious blocks, including recording four in just 12 minutes of action in his NBA debut against the Knicks in 2019.
Instead of bringing Pelle back, the new-look Sixers opted to bring in Tony Bradley as their third center. The right move? Bradley is averaging 4.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.0 blocks per game in 13.4 minutes per game.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of home Pelle finds on the Nets, a team now looking to retool its identity after trading away its best defender in center Jarrett Allen. DeAndre Jordan remains on the team, but at 32 years old the big man isn’t exactly his former self, and he’s the only center on the Nets roster outside of Pelle.
The Nets are still meshing their big three, sitting at No. 5 in the East, but they’re just 1.5 games behind the first-place Sixers, and will likely be one of the strongest challengers for the Sixers in the East.
And now they have an inside man in Pelle to feed Steve Nash & Co. info on Joel Embiid.
The Sixers next face the Nets at home on Feb. 6.