NBA rumors: Mavs interested in Montrezl Harrell?

The Los Angeles Clippers, who downed the Dallas Mavericks in Round 1 of the NBA Playoffs before their Round 2 collapse against underdog Denver, might be trying to re-tool the roster. … and might find it a struggle to hold onto the unrestricted free agents about to hit the market. Unrestricted free agents like power forward Montrezl Harrell. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the Clippers and Harrell share a “mutual interest” in re-joining forces next season. And there is sense to that. Harrell, 26, is a 6-foot-8 big forward who plays on both ends of the floor, and who during the regular season averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds. But he’s free – and NBA gossip says the Mavs are interested.

More on Montrezl Harrell Free Agency

The Dallas reasoning? *He's coming off a a two-year, $12 million contract, so maybe he's not going to break somebody's bank here. *He won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award this season due to a regular-season reliability that in Dallas would surely be allowed to carryover in the postseason. *The Mavs front office has made no secret of wishing to add some "tough-guy attitude'' to the roster. ... and Harrell, as he demonstrated with his racial-slur conflict with Doncic in Round 1, is not afraid to play the role of the heel.
Rival teams expect the Clippers to work the trade market for a playmaker in the backcourt, and internally the franchise has the free agency of Montrezl Harrell and potential free agency of Green (player option) to work through. Harrell and the Clippers have mutual interest to find a deal, but Harrell is expected to be a sought after in the market place and have multiple suitors. Green likewise had multiple offers from teams last offseason before choosing to remain with the Clippers — and will have some of the same suitors.
This is going to be a bitter offseason, but not one that rival executives expect will bring huge change. The Clippers will likely try to re-sign free agents Harrell, Morris and JaMychal Green (if he opts out).
A fair contract for the Clippers and Harrell would be two years at $28 million total, with a player option in Year 2. The $14 million salary in Year 1 would nearly equal the amount Harrell has earned in his entire career, and the deal would give him the option of entering free agency again in 2021. The Clippers would have a trade asset -- although Harrell would have veto powers -- and they would avoid a long-term commitment.
"Everybody has done their work," an Eastern Conference executive said of front-offices evaluating talent. "So you can only go down. Harrell could go from [being] an $18 million guy to a $12 million guy. They can only get worse. "Maybe some third-tier guy plays well and moves up a tier, but the top-tier guys can only get worse. That work is already done."
"Everybody has done their work," an Eastern Conference executive said of front-offices evaluating talent. "So you can only go down. Harrell could go from [being] an $18 million guy to a $12 million guy. They can only get worse. "Maybe some third-tier guy plays well and moves up a tier, but the top-tier guys can only get worse. That work is already done."

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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.
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%.
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