Montrezl Harrell hints Clippers did not want him back
Montrezl Harrell’s heel turn was perhaps the biggest surprise of the NBA offseason thus far, but it turns out that he may have had a good reason for switching sides.
The new Los Angeles Lakers big man addressed reporters on Monday and hinted that the LA Clippers were not interested in re-signing him. Harrell was asked if he felt the Clippers wanted him back.
“Apparently not if I’m on the other side,” he replied, per SI’s Melissa Rohlin.
“If you spend your career in any place long enough, you’re going to want to still keep playing there and keep growing there,” Harrell went on. “So, of course I still have great respect for those guys.”
The 26-year-old also emphasized that he felt wanted by the Lakers.
Montrezl Harrell: "This is a team that wanted me and was highly on me. I'm honored and thankful for that. Blessed to be here."
— Lakers Nation (@LakersNation) November 23, 2020
Harrell just had a career season with the Clippers, winning Sixth Man of the Year. But he arrived late to the Orlando bubble due to the passing of his grandmother and looked like a shell of himself in the playoffs. In fact, the Clippers played much worse with Harrell on the floor as opposed to off.
Still, the fact that he signed with the rival Lakers came as a shock, including to many of his old teammates. If Harrell felt disrespected by the Clippers though, perhaps his decision isn’t all that shocking after all.