That proved especially true in the postseason, when Harrell — who was the defending Sixth Man of the Year — was a healthy scratch in a pair of games and played sparingly in the other four.
When asked about his role on the team during his exit interview, Harrell did not sound happy and tossed a bit of shade the team’s way.
“Brother, you’re asking questions that are basically shown on paper. It shows the number of minutes I played, the amount of time I played, everything is right there in your hand,” Harrell said. “So as far as your question that you want the answer to, I don’t know how you really want me to answer that. I played my role man, and when my number was called, I did what the team asked me to do.
“As far as how that role played out in the rotation, you’re asking the wrong guy sitting in front of you brother man.”
Harrell took to social media to reiterate that point.
Montrezl Harrell Uncertain About Future With Lakers
Harrell averaged 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds on 62.2% shooting in his first season in purple and gold. He has a $9.72 million player-option for next season, but it’s far from a foregone conclusion that he’ll opt into that.
“Brother man, you’re digging a little bit too deep into what I don’t have answers to. Nice try, but like I told you man, the game just ended last night. I’m about to go home and be a dad. You want to know about that, you can ask questions about that,” Harrell said. “But as far as my future with being a Lakers basketball player, we’ll worry about that later when free agency time rolls around, brother.”
Harrell will have other suitors and an opportunity for more money. He’s a sparkplug off the bench and makes up for what he lacks on defense with his ability to score in the paint.
“I just finished year six, so I’m a little bit further advanced, so I kind of know what my game is a little bit in this league, and I know what I want to work on as a player,” Harrell said. “At the end of the day, you’re auditioning for every team in this league. Like, that’s just what it is. There’s not a lot of guys who just have a say of where they can pick and play, and we all know that.”
Andre Drummond’s Future With Lakers Also In The Air
The Lakers have some choices to make at the center position, in general. Gasol has one year left but is 36 years old, showing his age on occasion. Drummond will be a free agent and his future in purple and gold is uncertain, although it appears the Lakers are open to bringing the former All-Star back.
However, the postseason made Drummond’s future interesting as well. He was benched for the crucial Game 6, with Gasol starting in his place. However, Vogel had nothing but good things to say about Drummond.
“Dre was great for us,” Vogel told reporters. “We’re hopeful that he’s a Laker for a long time. He really played well for us and was a good culture fit.”
One thing is for certain — it’s going to be an interesting offseason for the Lakers as they gear up for another run at a title.