Montrezl Harrell picks up player option, paving way for Lakers trade
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported Harrell’s decision — which, crucially, comes two days before the official Aug. 1 deadline to opt-in, allowing Harrell to be included in a trade package with the No. 22 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
I believe Montrezl Harrell needed to decide on his player option before the 2021 NBA Draft in order to be in a trade package with the Lakers' No. 22 pick. The player-option deadline is Aug. 1.
— michael corvo (@_michaelcorvo_) July 29, 2021
Kyle Kuzma ($13 million in 2021-22), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and the Lakers’ first-round pick could head to Washington in exchange for Westbrook.
Harrell is represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, who surely worked hand-in-hand with the Lakers on the decision.
Earlier in the day, Kuzma had been linked to the San Antonio Spurs in a deal for DeMar DeRozan, while Harrell’s opt-in was seen as a key step towards a potential trade with the Sacramento Kings centered around Buddy Hield. At the moment, nothing is official, and talks remain ongoing between Sacramento and Los Angeles.
There's no agreement in place and work still to do on a Westbrook/Lakers deal, but talks with Kings on a possible Hield deal had also been ongoing between two teams, sources said. https://t.co/FV78eXb1Wh
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 29, 2021
Either way, it looks like Trezz may be on the move.
Harrell averaged 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds in his first season with the Lakers. He was a valuable energy man in the regular season, but his role was greatly diminished in the playoffs. After the season, Harrell hinted at displeasure with the Lakers’ coaching staff following his reduced postseason role.
Many more teams are projected to be armed with cap space in 2022, which could make opting-in for one season appealing — and profitable — to the 27-year old big.