The Philadelphia 76ers plan to waive second-year center Norvel Pelle on Thursday, a source confirms to Sports Illustrated on Thursday.
Pelle, a 27-year-old center who earned his first NBA contract this past season, will hit the open market ahead of the 2020 NBA Free Agency period on Friday.
Last year, Pelle entered Sixers training camp as a longshot to make the active roster. After a strong preseason with the team, the Sixers decided to ink Pelle to a two-way contract.
By the time January rolled around, Pelle was no longer eligible to play with the Sixers on his two-way deal until the team's G League affiliates, the Delaware Blue Coats, wrapped up their season first in the spring.
Considering the 76ers needed depth at the center position, the Sixers eventually signed Pelle to his first NBA contract to keep him around on game days.
“It was a sigh of relief,” Pelle said after earning his first NBA deal. “Like everything I put in actually worked and it got me here. So it’s a sigh of relief.”
At the time Pelle signed on with a two-year deal and was set to make $1.5 million for the 2020-2021 NBA season before getting waived by the team on Thursday.
While Pelle could return to the Sixers on a different deal later on down the line, the second-year center will likely have several interested suitors. Although he didn't play a ton with the Sixers as he was buried behind Joel Embiid, Al Horford, and battling for the third spot with Kyle O'Quinn, Pelle showed flashes as a dominant rim protector.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_