Farbod Esnaashari: Lou Williams on if Montrezl Harrell doesn’t come back to the Clippers next year: “Obviously business is business, Trez has a family to take care of… I feel very confident that we’ll be able to keep this group together.” pic.twitter.com/1DgJcdd5GK
For one, there’s a chance that with a reduced salary cap next season, players like Harrell and Morris might come at a cheaper price this offseason. The market was already bleak, and now it’s even bleaker. Meanwhile, the downside is the Clippers have no idea how their free agents fit into a championship picture. Each player has questions that make their future roles with the team murky.
Montrezl Harrell and Marcus Morris are the Clippers’ two best and most important free agents this summer. The organization is interested in re-signing both players this offseason, according to league sources. With the Clippers likely operating over the cap even if they renounce the rights to their free agents (unless Green also opts out) and the 2020 free-agent class looking relatively weak, Harrell and Morris are arguably more valuable to the Clippers than they probably are to other teams, given the Clippers’ limited resources to replace them.
His limitations as a rim protector and rebounder are the primary factors holding him back from being a max or near-max player. The Athletic reported earlier in the season that Harrell was projected to earn as much as $20 million to $25 million annually this offseason, but that figure is believed to be decreasing given how the trade deadline played out and the lack of available cap space. As Danny Leroux of The Athletic recently wrote, only seven teams project to use cap space this summer: Hawks, Knicks, Pistons, Heat, Hornets, Suns and Trail Blazers. Outside of the Hornets, who desperately need youth and talent, it’s unclear where Harrell fits with those teams.
He is likely to command at least triple his current $6 million salary this summer, which, as it stands now, would push the Clippers into the luxury tax. While Harrell embodies the hard-nosed ethos owner Steve Ballmer grew to admire as a Detroit Pistons fan in his youth, the prospect of having him leave for nothing in return or being financially handcuffed for the foreseeable future could influence the Clippers' deadline strategy, several opposing executives say.
"The Clippers have a real dilemma," one Western Conference scout says. "Montrezl wants to get paid, but he does most of his damage against backups. If you already have Paul [George] and Kawhi [Leonard] on your books, can you pay him what he's going to want?"
If the Clippers don't believe they can win with a 6'7" center, especially one hoping for what is believed to be a $20 million-per-season payday, then they risk losing Harrell as a free agent. (Multiple executives believe the Atlanta Hawks could be a summer destination.) Los Angeles would have his rights and the ability to sign-and-trade him to another team, but that's a move entirely dependent on Harrell's participation.
Sagar Trika: Lowe mentions Dallas as a potential buyer, but notes they don't have picks to trade because of the Porzingis trade. Woj suggests Montrezl Harrell as a potential target because the Clippers may have concerns about having to pay him this upcoming offseason.
The L.A. Clippers have re-signed free-agent forward Montrezl Harrell, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations, Lawrence Frank.
“Montrezl is a tough, hard-playing, gritty competitor who is committed to winning,” said Frank. “We love his passion and energy, and are very excited to have Trezz back in a Clippers uniform.”
Restricted free-agent center Montrezl Harrell has agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract to return to the LA Clippers, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN. Harrell's deal is fully guaranteed, sources said.
For his agent, Rosenhaus, the deal represented his first NBA free-agent deal after decades as one of the NFL's most prominent dealmakers. Rosenhaus Sports has moved into basketball and also represents Portland Trail Blazers first-round pick Anfernee Simons.
Bobby Marks: A fair contract for both the Clippers and Montrezl Harrell on the two year, $12 million contract. The forward was staring down the $1.8 million qualifying offer and will now see that number triple.
Bobby Marks: The short-term contract also allows Harrell to enter free agency in 2020 when the salary cap is expected to rise to $116 million. The Clippers also stay below the projected luxury tax by $500K but now have a decision when it comes to the roster. Los Angeles now has 16 guaranteed contracts, not including the non-guaranteed salary of Patrick Beverley and CJ Williams.
Brad Turner: Montrezl Harrell returning to Clippers on 2 year, 12 million deal fully guaranteed, his rep says
Bobby Marks: We now have 4 restricted free agents left on the board after the Marcus Smart signing: Clint Capela (HOU), Rodney Hood (CLE), Patrick McCaw (GSW) and Montrezl Harrell (LAC).
Getting Harrell back is important for the Clippers because they need another backup center behind Gortat, since Marjanovic rarely plays. Harrell averaged 11 points last season and ranked third in the NBA in field-goal percentage at 63.5%.
September 24, 2021 | 7:53 pm EDT Update
Sean Cunningham: Andrew Wiggins request for religious exemption from COVID-19 vaccination denied by the NBA. League statement below. pic.twitter.com/kXFGXiS8hy
September 24, 2021 | 6:51 pm EDT Update
Avery Bradley is coming off a couple of down seasons but was one of the league’s stingiest individual defenders earlier in his career, and he’s only 30. He’s been given the impression, per a source, that he will have a real chance to make the roster and, with Thompson out early in the season, there’s a clear path to playing time if he rediscovers his old form, which would catapult him back onto the market next summer.