Montrezl Harrell was not a great fit with the Los Angeles Lakers, which has become even more apparent following his departure.
Harrell was part of the trade that brought Russell Westbrook to Los Angeles and shared some thoughts on what his role was a year ago while wearing purple and gold.
“I didn’t really get to be utilized how I wanted to be last year,” Harrell told reporters after the Wizards first preseason tilt on Tuesday, October 5. “I damn near felt like I had a season off.”
Harrell averaged 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds on 62.2% shooting in his first and only season with the Lakers, coming exclusively off the bench. The Lakers big man rotation got very complicated once Andre Drummond arrived, damaging the relationships with both Harrell and veteran Marc Gasol, who has since moved on as well.
Montrezl Harrell: ‘I Played My Role’
Harrell was pretty blunt about his role in the Lakers exit interviews following a first-round playoff exit.
“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 is unsure of what his role will be with the Wizards but it’s looking like he’ll be the first big off the bench. He scored 9 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in just 20 minutes during the Wizards preseason opener. There are also reports that it was Harrell who called a players-only meeting before the start of the preseason, a sign that he’s taking a leadership role in Washington.
Anthony Davis Expects to Start at Center
The Lakers reshaped their roster in the offseason, however, one significant change the team is weighing is moving star big man Anthony Davis to the center position on a more full-time basis. Davis has been reluctant to play there before but appears to have come around.
“There was expectations and that was discussed, and I expect to play center,” Davis said during the Lakers’ media day. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Me and Frank talked about it a couple of times and that’s the plan right now. Nothing is set in stone. But we want to see what that looks like. And I’m comfortable with that.”
The Lakers also have more traditional options for the position in Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, although they’ll likely come off the bench and have their minutes fluctuate depending on matchup. One thing is for certain: there’s no squabbling about roles on this Lakers team. The focus is a title.
“I think that at this point of my career, of all of our careers, at the end of the day, ultimately, we just want to be able to win and be able to achieve something as a collective,” Jordan told reporters this week. “That’s all I’m worried about. Obviously last year in Brooklyn there was times at the end of the season where I didn’t play, we went small and things like that and I handled it like a pro and I’m expecting to do the same thing here. I’m going in and I’m gonna compete every day and we’ll see.”