LOS ANGELES, CA-It’s hard to believe that Montrezl Harrell is still on the market. Even more surprising is the fact that the Los Angeles Clippers, who was the last team to employ the athletic and hard-working big man, hasn’t reeled the restricted free agent back onto their roster.
Well, the Clippers have made their move, reportedly handing Harrell a qualifying offer. Judging by his play Sunday at the Drew League, the Clippers would be wise to hang on to the 6-foot-8, 240-pound power forward.
Suiting up for LAUNFD, Harrell put on a show against a well-stacked Reapers squad, muscling his way to 33 points to lead the second place Jonathan Baxter Division (8-1) squad to its eighth win of the season. The Reapers, paced by Atlanta Hawks forward Taurean Prince’s 26 points, didn’t make it easy for Harrell and LAUNFD, going up by a big margin before losing their way and going cold in the last quarter of play.
For the first three quarters, it was all Reapers, thanks to NBA G League player Stephan Hicks going nuts on his way to scoring a team-high 30 points. Much like he did with the Clippers last season, Harrell became a force to deal with in the low post, and there was little or nothing that the Reapers (4-5 for eighth place in the Jonathan Baxter Division) could do about it.
In his first full-time action with the Clippers last season, outside of shooting guard Lou Williams, Harrell became a mainstay for the Los Angeles ballclub once Blake Griffin was traded to the Detroit Pistons. As he did against NBA opponents when he blossomed into a full-time role after two years with the Houston Rockets, Harell solidified his presence in the paint.
With both Griffin and now center DeAndre Jordan no longer roaming the low block area, Harrell, should he officially return to the Clippers, will no doubt have a more dominant role in the team’s plans moving forward. Showing off his offensive versatility in leading LAUNFD to a 99-93 win against the Reapers, Harell was all over the place, spinning his way to the basket, driving unapologetically to the hole, and serving up mid-range jumpers on his way to his big afternoon.
Harrell averaged 11 points for the Clippers during the 2017-2018 NBA season. His performance against the Reapers suggests the Clippers will use Harrell in a much bigger capacity to help Williams shoulder the offensive load for the upcoming year.