Montrezl Harrell may not be the first name that pops up on the stat sheet but his energy, strength, and “dog” mentality make him one of the Clippers’ most valuable assets.
This season may be his best yet as a pro. He’s averaging 19.3 points and 7.1 rebounds on 56% shooting.
According to Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher, however, he could be a primary trade candidate this deadline.
He is likely to command at least triple his current $6 million salary this summer, which, as it stands now, would push the Clippers into the luxury tax. While Harrell embodies the hard-nosed ethos owner Steve Ballmer grew to admire as a Detroit Pistons fan in his youth, the prospect of having him leave for nothing in return or being financially handcuffed for the foreseeable future could influence the Clippers’ deadline strategy, several opposing executives say.
“The Clippers have a real dilemma,” one Western Conference scout says. “Montrezl wants to get paid, but he does most of his damage against backups. If you already have Paul [George] and Kawhi [Leonard] on your books, can you pay him what he’s going to want?”
It is likely that Harrell will request a major pay raise this summer, and the Clippers may not be inclined to give it to him.
Instead of facing the risk of losing him for nothing, why not trade him for another high impact player? While we don’t yet know what kind of offers the Clippers would get for Trez, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of moves they make these next couple of weeks.