In early July, the Philadelphia 76ers signed Norvel Pelle to a two-way contract. Who is Norvel Pelle? Here is everything you need to know about the 6’10” elite rim protector.
2018-19 G League Recap
Norvel Pelle had a very strong season with the Delaware Blue Coats in 2018-19. Pelle was named to the 2018-19 NBA G League All-Defensive Team. He also finished 3rd in voting for Defensive Player of the Year.
On the season, Pelle averaged 11.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.9 blocked shots in 22.8 minutes per game. He finished 1st in the G League in field goal percentage (69.9%) and true shooting percentage (72.1%). Pelle also had the second best block percentage (10%) and 4th most total blocks in the G League (108).
Most notably, Norvel Pelle dominated the second half of the season with the Blue Coats. In February and March 2019, Norvel Pelle averaged 5.35 blocks per 36 minutes and was a +8.9 on the court. Norvel Pelle brings a ton of personality off the court and even more swagger when he’s on the court.
Here is a highlight reel I made of Norvel Pelle’s best plays during the second half of the season with the Delaware Blue Coats.
2019 Summer League Recap
Norvel Pelle averaged 7 points, 6.8 boards, and 2.8 blocks in 19.1 minutes per game as the starting center with the 76ers during the Las Vegas Summer League. Compared to his previous Summer League stint with the 76ers in 2018, Pelle made significant leaps in regards to his development (defensive IQ, maturity, instincts).
Shake Milton’s struggles and injury during the Summer League hindered Pelle’s ability to showcase his excellent ability to roll to the basket and finish above the rim. Despite the lack of a pick-and-roll offense, he still had some standout moments on the defensive end. Here are Norvel Pelle’s top plays from the 2019 Sixers Summer League.
Sixers Training Camp & Preseason
The Sixers signed Kyle O’Quinn to a one-year, veteran minimum contract for $2.1 million in July, which undoubtedly pushed Norvel Pelle down the depth chart. If you follow The Blue Route (@BlueRouteTPL), then you very well know my thoughts on the backup center position with the 76ers. In my opinion, an elite rim protecting big man brings significant more value than what Kyle O’Quinn will bring this season.
Jason Blevins was in Camden for Sixers Media Day this year. Here is Norvel Pelle’s press conference where he talks about what he brings to the Philadelphia 76ers and his goals for the 2019-20 season.
Norvel Pelle continued to turn heads for the Philadelphia 76ers this preseason. In 7.4 minutes per game, Pelle averaged 5.4 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks per game. He finished with an incredible 21.2 block percentage and 77.8 defensive rating, both of which led the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite only playing 37 total minutes this preseason, Pelle led the team in total blocks (9).
Pelle’s most memorable moment during the preseason came vs. the Detroit Pistons, where he had 13 points in 12 minutes and blocked 5 shots in the 4th quarter alone. Here is an exclusive interview with Jason Blevins following his excellent preseason performance (five fourth quarter blocks) vs. the Detroit Pistons.
2019-20 Season Outlook
With the Philadelphia 76ers, Norvel Pelle has a steep hill to climb with Joel Embiid, Al Horford, and Kyle O’Quinn getting the majority of the minutes at center this season. Barring injury, expect Pelle to start off with the Delaware Blue Coats when the season starts.
It’s going to be a block party at the 76ers Fieldhouse this season. The Delaware Blue Coats will feature a front court of excellent rim protectors in Norvel Pelle, Christ Koumadje, and Doral Moore this season. Expect Pelle to start for the Blue Coats and continue to thrive in Connor Johnson’s pick-and-roll heavy offense.
Norvel Pelle deserves his chance with the Philadelphia 76ers. He’s an elite rim protector that excels at rolling to the basket and running the court. Pelle would certainly bring a level of intensity and toughness to the Sixers’ front court, as well as become an instant fan-favorite with his electric personality.