According to a report from The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey, center Kyle O’Quinn wanted to be waived by the Sixers on Friday but will be staying on the roster at this time.
The Sixers decided on Friday to waive Jonah Bolden, which opened up a spot to convert Norvel Pelle to an NBA contract (see story).
O’Quinn is listed as out (personal reasons) for the Sixers’ game tonight vs. the Grizzlies, as was the case Thursday against the Bucks.
It’s easy to see why O’Quinn would prefer to be waived. The 29-year-old appears to be fourth in the Sixers’ depth chart at center, behind Joel Embiid, Al Horford and Pelle. He’s only played in 22 games this season after signing a one-year, veteran minimum deal with the team this summer. He hasn’t gotten the opportunities he would have hoped, with Pelle’s emergence shifting him out of the rotation.
When asked to compare Pelle and O’Quinn on Jan. 9, Brett Brown had plenty of praise for O’Quinn.
Kyle O’Quinn, let’s just start with he’s a good — not a good — he’s a great teammate. You look at him on the bench, you look at a veteran player that’s trying to find a role and he hasn’t really come in and played that much basketball for us to date. And he still is a personality and a spirit in a locker room, on a plane, on a bus. I think he’s incredible, really. I love him on this team, I love him in the locker room. And then you go to the court, he’s a man. He’s an athlete, there’s toughness, he can make a shot, he’s an excellent passer. He’d probably be more of an aggressive pick-and-roll guy than he’d be dropped.
“And then you go over to Norvel, which is kind of the complete opposite. He’s far more of a rim protector — really excellent back and trying to read things. Obviously doesn’t have the experience that Kyle has but is kind of built out of that Nerlens [Noel], [Clint] Capela type of rim protector, flyer mode. And Kyle isn’t — Kyle’s like a lumberjack, a street fighter. They’re different.”
O’Quinn, who’s averaging 3.5 points and 3.7 rebounds, has played over 10 minutes this season on only eight occasions.
As Pompey notes, another relevant factor is that O’Quinn would be eligible to play in the postseason for another team if he’s waived by March 1.
The Sixers are at the maximum of 15 active players, with rookie Marial Shayok on a two-way contract. Shayok made his NBA debut Thursday, making a three-pointer on his first touch.
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