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Jazz sign Norvel Pelle to hardship contract

Big man has had limited and intermittent NBA experience since going undrafted in 2013

New York Knicks forward Norvel Pelle dunks the ball during game against the Nuggets Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Denver.
New York Knicks center Norvel Pelle dunks the ball during an NBA game against the Nuggets Wednesday, May 5, 2021, in Denver. The Jazz reportedly will sign the big man to a 10-day hardship deal.
David Zalubowski, Associated Press

TORONTO — The Utah Jazz have signed free agent center Norvel Pelle to a 10-day hardship deal.

Pelle has had limited and intermittent NBA experience since going undrafted in 2013 and then joining the then D League Delaware 87ers, the Philadelphia 76ers’ affiliate team.

Last month the NBA amended its hardship exemption rules to allow teams, without financial penalty, to sign replacement players when the team has its own standard players enter the league’s health and safety protocols after returning a positive COVID-19 test.

Teams are allowed to sign a replacement player for each positive COVID-19 case on a roster and are required to sign at least one replacement player if they have two positive COVID-19 cases. As cases on a roster increase, so do the number of hardship players a team must sign (at least two if they have three positive COVID-19 cases, at least three if they have four or more positive COVID-19 cases).

Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles are both away from the team after testing positive for COVID-19 this week. Additionally, the Jazz have been without reserve center Hassan Whiteside for three games after he suffered a concussion.

The 6-foot-10 Pelle has played on multiple NBA G League teams as well as internationally. He played in 24 games for the Sixers in the 2019-20 season and most recently was on a 10-day hardship deal with the Boston Celtics.

Pelle will be available to play in the Jazz’s Friday night game against the Toronto Raptors. Additionally, the Jazz made official that Danuel House has signed a 10-day hardship deal with the team and will be available against the Raptors.