The fallout from yesterday’s trade deadline is still being felt as Jonah Bolden’s tenure as a Sixer has ended and two-way player Norvel Pelle will return to the NBA team.
Bolden was waived by the team Friday to allow for Pelle’s contract to be converted to a full NBA deal. Bolden wasn't with the team in Milwaukee ahead of Thursday's trade deadline.
Pelle's deal will be for the rest of this season and next season. If he is not waived by July 6, his contract will be guaranteed for the 2020-21 season, per a team source.
As a two-way player, Pelle was only allowed to spend 45 days with his NBA team. He exhausted his time with the Sixers on Jan. 22 in Toronto and has been stashed in Delaware since. During Joel Embiid's nine-game absence while recovering from a torn ligament in the ring finger on his left hand, Pelle served as the team's backup center over the likes of veteran Kyle O'Quinn. Brett Brown has said that Pelle brings something different with his ability to run rim to rim — offering shot blocking and the ability to screen, roll and finish on the other end.
Pelle, 27, is a native of Antigua and Barbuda and has been on quite the winding path to get to the NBA. A top recruit out of high school, Pelle had eligibility issues and opted to start his professional career early with the then-Delaware 87ers. His career took him to Taiwan, Beirut, Italy and then back to Delaware last season. The team saw enough to offer him a two-way deal ahead of this campaign.
Around this time last season, we were talking about Bolden as a possibility to back up Embiid as the team had exhausted several options. Ultimately, Bolden was probably ill-suited for that role at 6-foot-8 and around 220 pounds. Still, he had flashes in his rookie season and showed promise that he could become a legitimate NBA player.
He played in just four NBA games this season, getting meaningful minutes in only one. He’s spent the bulk of his time in the G League playing for the Blue Coats.
Bolden’s path to the Sixers wasn’t a straight line, either. He was drafted by then-GM Bryan Colangelo in the second round of the 2017 NBA Draft. The Australia native came from overseas for his senior year of high school and then went on to play for UCLA. He redshirted his first year and decided to drop out after having a minimal role his redshirt freshman year.
He then went on to play professionally in Serbia and was named the ABA League Top Prospect during his first season. After he was drafted by the Sixers, he went on to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel. After a strong season there, Bolden signed with the Sixers in July of 2018.
Bolden has the makings of a useful, modern NBA player. He’s proven at times to be a capable three-point shooter and a long, versatile defender. He just fell victim to the numbers game.
As for Pelle, the Sixers have the option they wanted behind Embiid and Al Horford in a full capacity.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.