A few years within the past, Montrezl Harrell regarded adore he’s going to be on his manner to a certainly lucrative contract. In 2019, he carried out third within the Sixth Man of the Yr balloting. He was pure energy on the offensive end. He crashed the glass and became an elite steal-and-roll finisher. Nonetheless by the end of his tenure with the Clippers, the holes in his recreation had been starting up to expose.
In 2020, the 300 and sixty five days leading into the free agency that was supposed to pay him mammoth, he won Sixth Man of the Yr but became a criminal responsibility within the playoffs. His defense, many participants argued, had reached unplayable ranges in a postseason sequence, but Doc Rivers continued to stride him available and the Clippers blew a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets within the bubble.
Harrell’s value tanked at precisely the horrible time. Once a candidate for nicely north of a $50 million deal (that is conservative), he as a alternative signed with the Lakers preferrred offseason for $9.2 million, with a $9.7 million participant possibility for 2021-22. The thought was that he’d bewitch his value this past season and forgo that participant possibility to become a extra sought-after free agent this summer season.
Nonetheless that didn’t occur. He’s mute regarded as a playoff criminal responsibility, even supposing the Lakers had been forced to play him in their first-round loss to Phoenix because Anthony Davis was afflict and Andre Drummond proved equally problematic.
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Harrell can mute decide out of his address the Lakers and settle his potentialities on the originate market when free agency begins on Aug. 6, but the existing thought is that no team of workers is going to give Harrell an annual wage in far extra than the $9.7 million participant possibility he has with the Lakers. So it makes sense that Harrell, per Eric Pincus of Bleacher Document, is also leaning towards opting in for the $9.7 million.
From there, the Lakers can either preserve Harrell (presumably reckoning on what they settle about retaining Marc Gasol and/or Drummond) as he tries, as soon as extra, to raise his value for one other stride at free agency in 2022, or they bellow him as a substitute chip. The latter possibility feels extra likely.
A substitute would maybe be a buy-buy: The Lakers obtain a participant who can abet, and even factual a substitute exception if Harrell goes to a team of workers with cap put, whereas Harrell gets the $9.7 million that he likely would maybe no longer obtain from an out of doorways suitor. From there, optimistically, his new danger is one that can showcase his strengths in desire to consistently name attention to his weaknesses, which is what’s going to occur with the Lakers as they might be able to’t comprise the funds for to comprise him in a renowned role and even on the floor in any appreciate with such high stakes for their season.