76ers Do Not Plan to Convert Norvel Pelle's Contract at Deadline

Justin Grasso

Lately, the Philadelphia 76ers have created a trial period for one of their two-way signees. The 26-year-old center, Norvel Pelle, might be best suited with the Sixers' G-League affiliates, the Delaware Blue Coats for now. But the front office in Philly has been curious to see how he would perform in the big league.

For eleven games this season, the Sixers allowed Pelle to pick up some minutes. Although he has only received around ten minutes-per-matchup, Pelle has created an impact on the defensive side of the ball with his showstopping blocks.

Considering the Sixers have been dealing with some depth issues at the center position as of late, it seemed there could be an opportunity for the rookie center to make his way onto the roster on an NBA deal.

With Joel Embiid out for some time, the Sixers have been rolling with Al Horford as the starting center. And instead of relying on Kyle O'Quinn to come in and back Horford up, the Sixers offered those minutes up to Pelle.

Soon, though, Philly will lose Pelle to Delaware if they do not convert his contract. With the January 15th deadline here, the Sixers have to make a call. And according to the PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck, the Sixers do not plan to make a change to Pelle's two-way deal.

"While the Sixers were potentially interested in bringing on another developmental player," Neubeck writes. "The team is currently focused on preserving as much salary cap flexibility as possible heading into the trade deadline."

Just because Pelle won't join the Sixers full-time for now, doesn't mean the idea is entirely ruled out, though. Pelle will still remain on the Sixers' radar, and he can be converted to an NBA deal later on down the line. However, with the trade deadline coming up next month, the Sixers are trying to control their salary cap, keeping Pelle's potential NBA deal out of the picture.

Pelle will be available for the Sixers on Wednesday night against the Nets. After that, though, the two-way center will make his way back down to the G-League. The chances are if Pelle makes his way back to the Sixers at some point, it won't be until after the trade deadline in February -- or until the G-League's season concludes in late March.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_

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