Montrezl Harrell was one of the big names that were available in NBA free agency and the 26-year-old surprisingly ended up with the Los Angeles Lakers. It was a move that no one saw forthcoming with the Los Angeles Clippers believed by most as the club who would likely re-sign him.
Of course, the Clippers went through a lot of issues after getting bumped off by the Denver Nuggets. Despite leading that series, 3-1, the Clips bungled the advantage and failed to advance to the Western Conference Finals. It would have set up a classic showdown between two Los Angeles-based clubs.
Regardless, that is a thing of the past. But there is no question that Harrell did a yeoman’s job for the Clippers last season.
Pat Bev reacts to Montrezl Harrell agreeing to sign with the Lakers: pic.twitter.com/B8SvuSwNod — ESPN (@espn) November 21, 2020
The 2020 NBA Sixth Man of the Year awardee was acquired by the Clippers in the Chris Paul trade. He blossomed under the watch of Doc Rivers and somehow, the Clippers took their time deciding on whether to re-sign Harrell or not.
"If you spend your career in any place long enough, you're going to want to continue playing there and growing there," Harrell said in a report from the Associated Press. "Of course, I still have great respect for those guys and for that organization. But as far as if they wanted me back? Obviously, it just doesn't seem that way, does it?"
The Clippers could have easily secured Harrell early had they wanted to. But instead, he was kept waiting. Was it a case of being overconfident? Or were the Clippers looking for other options?
In their defense, the Clippers are still trying to get their act together. They have a new head coach in Tyronn Lue. Lue was part of the Clips coaching staff last season and got elevated to the position when Rivers was fired.
The Charlotte Hornets also dangled big money for Harrell to join them. But in the end, the 6-foot-7 cager opted for a two-year $19 million deal with the Lakers. The obvious thing to note here is that Harrell wants to win an NBA title and his entry puts the purple and gold in a good position this 2020-21 season.
Aside from Harrell, other key additions include Dennis Schroder, Wes Matthews and Marc Gasol. With these key names, the Lakers look even formidable and loom as favorites to win it all once more this coming NBA season.