Montrezl Harrell has left the Los Angeles Clippers to join crosstown rivals Los Angeles Lakers. Harrell was seen as a very important player for the Clips and this move came as a total surprise for everybody around the league, including the Clippers.
Patrick Beverley reacted to the news on social media, wishing the best for his former teammate, but making it clear that he was as surprised as anybody else. Well, Bev might not be the only one, as reports suggest that after Trez signed a two-year, $19 million with the Lakers, his former teammates were reportedly shocked to hear the news.
Via The Athletic:
Clippers players are shocked that Harrell went to the other room down the hallway at the Staples Center. Patrick Beverley voiced his displeasure on Twitter. Other players behind the scenes can’t believe that the Sixth Man of the Year is going to the Lakers. This will absolutely add some spice to the proceedings when they face each other as the Lakers show who owns the city still.
Moreover, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reports that a rift between Harrell and Kawhi Leonard is the main reason why the player decided to leave the team and they didn’t care too much about keeping him.
For all the understandable criticisms of Harrell for his performance in the bubble, and for the reports about his chemistry issues with the Clippers last season, it wasn’t too long ago that executives around the league thought Harrell could net between $15 to $20 million annually. He was integral to the Clippers, as their late-game center who brought energetic defense and explosive rim-runs that often revived lethargic Clippers stretches, all while scoring 18.6 points per game and grabbing 7.1 rebounds. A reported rift with Kawhi Leonard may have led to the Clippers moving on from Harrell, according to The Athletic, but the other team in Los Angeles just got him for two years at only $19 million total, with a player option for the second year. With the Lakers, Harrell will get a shot at a championship, revenge against the Clippers, and a chance to rehab his value. He’s about to play his most motivated basketball ever.
After the Clippers’ collapse against the Denver Nuggets in the bubble, several reports suggested that the relationship between Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with the rest of the team wasn’t the best. Now we know that some players, like Harrell, didn’t want to continue with this situation. Now he will have an opportunity to show he can contribute to a championship team with the Lakers.