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Montrezl Harrell’s surprising comments on leaving Lou Williams, Clippers

Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, Clippers, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers surprised everyone on the first night of free agency when they reportedly came to an agreement with LA Clippers free agent Montrezl Harrell. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year had agreed to leave his good friend Lou Williams and the team he’d spent three years with to join the reigning NBA Champions led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The move was made official on Monday, and is still sending shockwaves throughout the NBA. Montrezl Harrell spoke with members of the media soon after. To no one’s surprise, questions about the LA Clippers came flowing, including if the team wanted him in free agency.

“Apparently not if I’m on the other side,” Harrell said after a long pause to gather his thoughts.

“It’s a business decision. I felt that it was the right decision. I talked to my family and this is where we decided that we wanted to go. Simple as that. I’m definitely gonna be with a team that wanted me and with a group of guys that i feel I’m gonna gravitate to and build chemistry with fast.”

When asked if he wanted to be back with the Clippers, the new Lakers forward said he did.

“Honestly, I feel that if you spend your career in any place long enough, you’re gonna want to continue to still play there and keep growing there,” Montrezl Harrell responded. “Of course i still have great respect for those guys and that organizaation, but like i said, as far as far as if they wanted me back, obviously, it just doesn’t seem that way, does it?”

In his fifth year in the NBA, Montrezl Harrell developed into a consistent offensive threat for the Clippers during the regular season, averaging 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game in 63 appearances. After learning how to perfect being a star in his role from Mr. Sixth Man himself in Lou Williams, Harrell played his way into the Sixth Man of the Year award, which was announced during the NBA restart inside the bubble. Unfortunately, Harrell’s stellar regular season play simply could not translate into postseason success for himself or the Clippers.

Harrell saw his minutes decline from 28 per game in the regular season to just under 19 in the playoffs. Most of that was due to his being away from the team and dealing with the passing of his grandmother. In addition to that, he was also largely misused by then-head coach Doc Rivers, often facing a much taller Boban Marjanovic and a smart, physical Nikola Jokic.

There was even one moment captured during the playoffs where a visibly upset Kawhi Leonard had to tell Harrell where to go defensively because he was lost.

There’s no doubt now that Harrell will play well alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the Lakers. We’ll see if he’s able to carry that success into the postseason this time around.