Former Lakers Big Man Again Slams His Old Team Over Misuse

Montrezl Harrell Wizards

Getty Montrezl Harrell of the Washington Wizards celebrates during a game against the Toronto Raptors.

Los Angeles Lakers fans have more than their fair share of things to complain about right now. For starters, the team is 5-5 and has lost twice to the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder. Also — LeBron James and Anthony Davis are banged-up and Russell Westbrook is fresh off a 1-for-13 performance, which brought his effective field goal percentage down to a paltry 44.8 on the year.

In the meantime, the players that GM Rob Pelinka dealt to bring Westbrook to the Lake Show — Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Montrezl Harrell — are currently showing out for the resurgent Washington Wizards. Sorry, Lakers fans.

Of the three, none have benefited from their Lakers departure as much as Harrell. After a ho-hum year in the purple and gold, the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year is getting back to his old ways. And he can’t help but remind everyone how much better things have been whenever he gets the chance.

When asked about his early-season success after a win over the Memphis Grizzlies, Harrell had a simple explanation. “Montrezl Harrell is on the floor, brother,” he said, via NBC Sports Washington’s Chase Hughes. “That’s the biggest difference.”

Harrell’s Down Year With the Lakers

Although there were definitely other factors in play during his weird Lakers year, Harrell’s allusion to a reduction in playing time isn’t unfounded. During his 6MOY campaign with the LA Clippers in 2019-20, Harrell was on the floor for a healthy 27.8 minutes per game as a reserve. And the resulting output inspired Pelinka and Co. to give him a two-year, $19 million deal.

During his lone season with the Lakers, however, he averaged just 22.9 minutes per contest. As a result, his shot attempts went down — from 12.9 per game in ’19-20 to 8.7 the following year — and his scoring average dipped from a career-high 18.6 PPG to 13.5 PPG.

To say that this wasn’t what Harrell signed up for would be putting it lightly. In October, the 27-year-old threw a major haymaker in the Lakers’ direction over his treatment in 2020-21.

“I didn’t really get to be utilized how I wanted to be last year,” he said, via Hughes. “I damn near felt like I had a season off.”

Harrell is currently putting up 17.7 points and a career-high 9.1 rebounds in 30 minutes per game. He has hit on 63.6% of his shots from the field as well.

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The Playoffs Were a Fiasco for Trez

Saying that Harrell had a season off may be overstating the matter, but his postseason workload was definitely akin to involuntary paid leave.

During the Lakers’ ill-fated first-round series against the Phoenix Suns, Harrell was a healthy scratch for Games 2 and 3, and he never played more than 15 minutes in the games that he did appear in. By the end of the series, he was rocking averages of just 5.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 9.8 minutes per contest.

As noted by All Clippers, Harrell famously liked tweets calling out the Lakers leaving him on the bench.

Whether or not Harrell would have actually made a difference in the Lakers’ 4-2 series loss to the Suns, we’ll never know. At any rate, the Wizards don’t seem intent on finding out what would happen to them by employing a similar strategy.


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