NBA Rumor: Montrezl Harrell Free Agency

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He’s the reigning sixth man of the year, helping cure a Lakers bench that struggled to score for long stretches. He also, though, was a defensive liability, with Denver exploiting it in the NBA playoffs. Doc Rivers’ trust in Harrell kept him on the court and, according to sources, was a factor in the Clippers’ decision to make a change on their bench. Things could be different with the Lakers, a team with stronger locker room leadership and with Anthony Davis around to help clean up any mistakes.

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If Harrell can get a significant offer, the Clippers may not be inclined to meet that price—Harrell is unrestricted, so he has a significant say in what’s next. One Eastern Conference executive suggested the Miami Heat, though the team would need to find the right price to re-sign Goran Dragic and a way out of Kelly Olynyk’s $13.2 million player option. “They will leave space for Giannis, but they could give [Harrell] a big one-year deal” the executive said of Miami. “They always figure it out.”

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.

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.


Clippers keeping Harrell, Morris?

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.

Hawks an option for Montrezl Harrell?

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.
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January 20, 2021 | 9:33 pm EST Update