Norvel Pelle's Eligibility Will Run Out After Matchup vs. Raptors

Justin Grasso

Soon, Philadelphia 76ers center Norvel Pelle will have to permanently resume his career with Philly's G-League affiliates, the Delaware Blue Coats. Considering the 26-year-old rookie is inked to a two-way contract, his NBA eligibility is soon to be gone.

Initially, it seemed like all signs were pointing towards the 76ers keeping Pelle on board. As the Sixers were intrigued by his defensive skillset, along with offensive potential, there was rumored to be a very good chance Pelle remains on the main roster.

After giving it some thought, though, the 76ers ultimately decided that now is not the time to activate Pelle on the roster for good. Despite the center position being weak in-depth right now with Joel Embiid sidelined, the Sixers aren't willing to cough up a roster spot for the Blue Coats' standout big man.

Plus, the Sixers may need the funds it would take to pay Pelle in order to make a trade work before the deadline. Had the Sixers already made their big move, the situation could've been different. But since Philly is still working the phones and trying to make a deal, they don't have a ton of flexibility at the moment when it comes to contracts.

Therefore, Pelle's numbered days are running out. On Wednesday, the Sixers are set to take on the Toronto Raptors on the road. And while Norvel Pelle is, in fact, available to play for the 76ers -- Wednesday will officially be his final day of eligibility.

Looking back at his 13 games played with the 76ers, Pelle did a decent job during the eleven minutes he averaged per game. He drained 60-percent of his limited shots from the field. Although he wasn't a big-time offensive contributor, it was clear that Pelle's rim protection showed extreme potential.

The show-stopping blocks from Pelle will have to take a break from Philly for now. Though the Sixers didn't rule out a return for Pelle later on down the line, they won't have him available anytime soon.

Whether that's an ideal scenario or not remains to be seen. So far, the Kyle O'Quinn/Jonah Bolden experiment hasn't worked -- but that only lasted one game. After Wednesday, the Sixers should get a better sample size before Joel Embiid returns.

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

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