The first year of the post-Kemba Walker era was going exactly how most pundits envisioned the campaign playing out for the Hornets. Charlotte had one of the worst offenses in the NBA. The team was averaging just 102.9 points per game, 30th in the league, and their offense rating (which is adjusted for pace) wasn’t much better at just No. 28.
Hornets president of basketball operations Mitch Kupchak has a bunch of moves to make to turn Charlotte into a winner once more. One transaction the former Los Angeles Lakers architect should consider making is signing Montrezl Harrell away from the Los Angeles Clippers. Harrell becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, and his age and style of play fit with the Hornets' timeline moving forward.
The Hornets have three explosive scorers in the backcourt in Terry Rozier, Devonte’ Graham, and Malik Monk. Kupchak needs to sign Harrell so Charlotte has a dynamic big man who can run the floor, feast in pick-and-roll plays, and help the Hornets become a better defensive and rebounding unit.
Before the 2019-20 season was suspended, Harrell was averaging 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists for the Clippers. The energy Harrell plays with is contagious. The Hornets' frontcourt would benefit from the addition of Trez since he'd push Miles Bridges, PJ Washington, Caleb Martin, and Cody Martin in practices.
Back in February, Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported that the Clippers are interested in re-signing Harrell. The Hornets are going to have to trade Nicolas Batum and let Bismack Biyombo walk in free agency so they can come up with the cap space to sign Harrell.
If the Hornets are able to steal Harrell away from the Clippers, they could throw out a starting lineup of Rozier, Graham, Bridges, Washington, and Montrezl, with Monk, the Martin brothers, Cody Zeller and Willy Hernangomez coming off the bench.
Harrell has averaged 15.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game for the Clippers since the franchise acquired him from the Houston Rockets in the Chris Paul trade back in 2017. Trez has established himself as arguably the best power forward in the game who is coming off the bench.
By staying with the Clippers, Harrell would continue to have a chance of competing for a championship. However, it's unclear if the Clippers are willing to pay up, so Harrell could be in line for a bigger payday and opportunity in Charlotte.