The trade deadline recently passed and the Los Angeles Lakers decided to stay put. However, that doesn’t mean they weren’t involved in some trade talk. The team was close to pulling the trigger on a deal for Kyle Lowry but the Toronto Raptors wanted too much.
The Lakers also could’ve dealt Montrezl Harrell to the Charlotte Hornets, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
“The Hornets made an offer to Los Angeles for Montrezl Harrell while also pursuing Richaun Holmes from the Sacramento Kings, sources said,” Fischer wrote.
Fischer had previously reported that the Hornets called the Lakers about Harrell but it was not known that they actually made an offer. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year has been a key cog for Los Angeles and while the team was open to dealing him, it’s clear that they didn’t like Charlotte’s offer very much. Harrell will now play out the season with the Lakers and could be an important piece against smaller teams like the Brooklyn Nets in the postseason.
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Should the Lakers Have Traded Harrell?
Harrell is currently averaging 15.2 points a game, which is fourth-best on the Lakers. Sending him away would’ve seriously hurt the team’s scoring off the bench. However, he’s a complete non-factor from three. He’s averaging 0.2 3-point attempts a game this season. He’s simply not a shooter and never will be.
The Lakers have struggled from beyond the arc this season. It might have been a smart move to trade Harrell to the Hornets for a player like Malik Monk and/or Devonte’ Graham. Both of those guys are solid from three. That said, the Lakers made the right call. Harrell is one of the best bench players in the NBA and scores at a high rate. The team does have shooters on the roster. They just need to break out of their slumps. Los Angeles could also look to the buyout market to land a sharpshooter without having to give up a key piece like Harrell.
Will Harrell’s Role Change With Andre Drummond Coming to Town?
Even with Marc Gasol and Anthony Davis missing time over the last month, Harrell still didn’t get inserted into the starting lineup. That’s the way he wants it as he believes he’s better suited to come off the bench. With Andre Drummond getting signed, Harrell shouldn’t see his role change that much.
The person who will be most affected by the Drummond signing is Gasol. He already lost his starting job and will get phased out of the rotation when the Lakers play smaller teams. Harrell will now be serving as Drummond’s backup and shouldn’t see much of a decline in his minutes. In fact, he should be very valuable when the Lakers play teams that favor smaller lineups. Drummond is a liability when Los Angeles plays a team like the Nets. That’s where Harrell can show his value as he’s very small for a center. He struggles against players like Nikola Jokic but should be just fine against guys like Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge.