NBA teams are still making roster moves, with the start of the regular season just over five weeks away. Here is some of the latest activity with teams around the league this week.
Sixers Sign Harrell To Two-Year Deal
The Philadelphia 76ers have signed free-agent Montrezl Harrell to a two-year contract with a second-year option. The contract details haven’t been disclosed, but with little breathing room under the salary cap, the Sixers likely signed Harrell for the veteran’s minimum of over $2.4 million this season.
The news comes just days after felony drug trafficking charges Harrell faced in Kentucky were reduced to misdemeanor possession. He only needs to stay out of trouble for the next year, and the charge will be removed from his criminal record. The move gives the 76ers more depth behind Joel Embiid while keeping them below the hard salary cap. They’ll also get more breathing room once they release players that don’t have their salaries guaranteed.
Beverly Looks Forward To Playing With Westbrook
Lakers guards Patrick Beverly and Russell Westbrook have battled each other for many years, both on the court and off. They sometimes had publicized verbal exchanges, with Westbrook once calling out the defensive skills of Beverly, saying, “It’s just running around, doing nothing.” The latter also was responsible for causing a season-ending meniscus injury to Westbrook when diving for a loose ball against the Thunder in 2013.
The newest member of the Lakers said on Tuesday that he’s “super excited” to play with Westbrook and that he’s the type of player that can help him be more successful. The former league MVP was in attendance at Beverly’s press conference introducing him to the team. Beverly is a two-time All-Defensive team selection in 2017 and 2020 and was recently acquired from the Utah Jazz for Talen Horton-Tucker and Stanley Johnson.
Cavs Expected To Take A Big Step After Signing Mitchell
The Cleveland Cavaliers have completed their rebuild this offseason by acquiring Donovan Mitchell from the Utah Jazz. After winning 44 games last season and significantly improving since the second LeBron James era, the organization can’t ignore the expectations after the trade, which should put the Cavs back into contention in the Eastern Conference.
The Jazz received some tremendous young talent in the deal, acquiring Lauri Markkanen, rookie Ochai Agbaji, Colin Sexton, three unprotected first-round draft picks and two pick swaps. It was a perfect deal for both teams, who are both rebuilding their squads with different goals.
The Cavaliers are hoping to become an instant threat in the east, while Utah has a more long-term plan for success. The Jazz also continues negotiating on trading more veterans such as Bojan Bogdanovic and Mike Conley.
Mitchell joins a lineup in Cleveland with two All-Stars from last season, Jarrett Allen and Darius Garland. In addition, Evan Mobley is on his way to becoming an All-Star after finishing second in the voting for Rookie of the Year. The only other team in the NBA with three All-Stars is the Golden State Warriors, which means the Cavs are right where they need to be to start the 2022 season.