The Boston Celtics may have defeated the Philadelphia 76ers in Tuesday night’s season opener, but Philly won the battle over big man Montrezl Harrell in free agency.
The two Eastern Conference foes were fighting for Harrell during free agency, yet the former Sixth Man of the Year eventually decided to join the Sixers. In an interview with MassLive, he disclosed why he made that choice and ultimately rebuffed the C’s:
“Honestly, it didn’t work out. We did have conversations but their mindset, where they wanted me to play or how they wanted me to play was not ideal. The situation I’m basically in or was going to be in, it wasn’t going to work out.”
According to the 28-year-old, Boston wasn’t going to give him the playing time he thought he deserved:
“If you are telling the player before the season even started they aren’t going to be playing games, that’s tough to say. That’s not going to work. I can’t do nothing with that. That’s how it went.”
The Celtics wanted him for some added big depth with Robert Williams III injured, however, that didn’t seem to be enough for Montrezl Harrell. Instead, Boston opted for 6-foot-10 journeyman Noah Vonleh, who was out of the league last year playing in China.
Although Boston couldn’t land Harrell, that didn’t seem to be a problem on Opening Night. The Celtics still played stout defense on Joel Embiid and were able to overcome their center injuries to beat Philly, 126-117.
Despite wanting more playing time, Harrell saw only 11 minutes in the season opener. He put up two points and one block but quickly received three personal fouls. During the game, some fans even commented on his rough start:
What does Montrezl Harrell bring to this team other than fouls
— Kawhi Enthusiast (@easymoneykidwei) October 19, 2022
Paul Reed is unironically better than Montrezl Harrell, Doc, just play him already.
— Logan Adams (He/Him) (@LoganA_NBA) October 19, 2022
While he didn’t get a chance to shine in this game, it seems like Montrezl Harrell see more of the court in the coming weeks.
As for the Celtics, they’ll prepare to travel to South Beach for a Friday matchup versus Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat. The Eastern Conference Finals rematch is sure to entertain and reignite some emotions from last year’s playoffs.