By DAN GELSTON
AP Sports Writer
The Philadelphia 76ers have some backup big man help for Joel Embiid.
The Sixers have agreed to a two-year contract with free agent center Montrezl Harrell in a move that will reunite him with coach Doc Rivers, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the deal has not been announced.
Harrell was the NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2019-2020 when Rivers still coached the Los Angeles Clippers. Harrell averaged 13.1 points and 6.1 rebounds in 71 games last season with the Washington Wizards and Charlotte Hornets.
The 28-year-old Harrell was a second-round pick in the 2015 draft by the Houston Rockets and will also be reunited in Philadelphia with executive Daryl Morey. He has averaged 12.9 points in 458 games with five teams.
Harrell is expected to be a significant improvement at the backup center spot behind Embiid. The Sixers had been poised to use Paul Reed and Charles Bassey as backups, but Rivers prefers to play veterans. He now has one he knows and is more comfortable with as the Sixers attempt to win their first NBA championship since 1983.
Embiid was the league scoring champion and gutted out the playoffs with torn ligaments in his right thumb, playing with a mask to protect his broken face and the lingering effects of a concussion.
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