NBAers Montrezl Harrell, Taurean Prince light up Drew League

Atlanta Hawks star Taurean Prince (Reapers) and Los Angeles Clippers restricted free agent Montrezl Harrell (LAUNFD) going toe-to-toe at the Drew League on Sunday, July 15, 2018. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman for News4usonline

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.

NBA player Montrezl Harrell, who averaged 11 points last season for the Los Angeles Clippers, scored 33 points in leading LAUNFD to a 99-93 win against the Reapers at the Drew League on Sunday, July 15, 2018. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman for News4usonline

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.

Atlanta Hawks star Taurean Prince (7) scores two of his 26 points for the Reapers during Drew League action Sunday, July 15, 2018. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman for News4usonline

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.

Dennis J. Freeman
About Dennis J. Freeman 1301 Articles
Dennis is a news and sports photojournalist. Dennis has covered and written on issues such as civil rights, education, politics, and social justice. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Daily Breeze, Daily Press, Los Angeles Wave, Los Angeles Sentinel, and other media outlets. Dennis is currently the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball, and NCAA. Dennis is an alum and graduate of Howard University.