Sixers’ Montrezl Harrell declines player option ahead of free agency

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Philadelphia 76ers’ Montrezl Harrell reacts after a basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

While the offseason has been consumed by rumors of James Harden, dreams of superstar acquisitions, or the potential addition of draft picks, a surprising move has taken place. Philadelphia 76ers‘ center Montrezl Harrell made the decision Wednesday morning to opt out of his $2.7 million player option, becoming an unrestricted free agent, according to Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes.

Harrell came to Philadelphia last season with much anticipation; however, the season did not go as any had planned. His stats would suggest a fine season, as he averaged 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds while averaging just under 12 minutes per game. Those who watched Harrell closely, however, saw a player who was limited offensively and struggled mightily as a defender. While he provided some much-needed energy in several key moments during the regular season, it was tough to envision a path to consistent minutes for Harrell going forward.

The 29-year-old veteran will now take his talents to the open market as he looks to find a new home and a new opportunity. Assuming Harrell does sign another deal this season, he is in line for a pay raise as well since, even if he only signs for the veteran minimum as that is still nearly $100,000 more than his $2.7 million player option.

Harrell’s former Houston Rockets teammates Danuel House and James Harden faced their own free agency decisions this summer as well. House has already opted into his $4.3 million option, while Harden remains the biggest offseason decision facing the Sixers.