Philadelphia 76ers: Norvel Pelle has already validated his new deal

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

With two games under his belt this summer, Norvel Pelle already looks like a potential steal on a two-way deal for the Philadelphia 76ers at backup center.

Norvel Pelle is a bad, bad dude.

While he’s only played two games for the (Summer League) Philadelphia 76ers on his brand new two-way contract, Pelle has already made his presence known with a slew of highlight reel plays on the sometimes shaky floor of the MGM Resorts.

And honestly, I’m not sure which has been more impressive, his monster dunks or his monster blocks.

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Welcome to the block party (I’m so sorry).

Measuring in at 6-foot-11, 215 pounds, the Antigua and Barbuda native is a unique size, speed, and hops prospect with a game perfectly suited for the NBA’s modern style of space and pace play.

Now sure, he’s not much of a threat to score outside of the paint, as the 26-year-old center hasn’t attempted a 3 pointer since his debut (then) D-League season with the (then) 87ers, but after splitting his time between Delaware and a slew of overseas teams like the Dacin Tigers, Homenetmen Beirut, Pallacanestro Varese, and the Auxilium Pallacanestro Torino from 2014-18, Pelle came back to America with a new body and more weathered mindset.

Averaging 11.1 points, 8.6 rebounds, and three (!) blocks a game in 22.8 minutes of action a night for the Blue Coats in 2018-19, Pelle showed glimpses of NBA potential over his 36 games (26 start) in Delaware last season while displaying a nose for the ball at both ends of the court.

With solid hops and the athleticism needed to pick up full court, Pelle is an ideal alley-oop target when paired with a pass-happy point guard.

Does that sound like anyone on the Sixers right now? (*Cough* Ben Simmons).

Sure, he’s already 26 and conceivably at his prime as an NBA player, but if Pelle’s Summer League showcase has been of any indication, he has the potential to be a legitimate NBA rotational player, even if his ceiling is an eight, ninth, or 10th man on a good team.

For the low price of a two-way contract – worth about $385,000 for anyone who’s interested – Pelle will have an opportunity to play up to 45 games with the Sixers next season with the potential to re-up for the remainder of the season once his NBA time runs out.

Will that happen? It didn’t with Shake Milton last season, but if Pelle can shine as a fastball center in a Simmons-centric fast break set or another G-Leaguer like Haywood Highsmith shines in Delaware, it’s entirely possible Norvel could outperform some of the team’s older veteran stopgaps and earn a full-on NBA contract to stick around in the USA for a few consecutive seasons.

Next. Shake Milton shines in his Summer League debut. dark

Simply put: Watch your back Kyle O’Quinn, Norvel Pelle is coming for your spot as the Philadelphia 76ers’ third-string center.