Montrezl Harrell Teases Major Bounce-Back Season With Sixers Is Coming

Montrezl Harrell, Sixers

Getty Montrezl Harrell #6 of the Washington Wizards is fouled by Pat Connaughton #24 of the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Philadelphia 76ers made news late in the offseason by making a surprise addition of Montrezl Harrell to cap off the already impressive offseason. Harrell’s connections to the Sixers organization have been well noted as he was drafted by Daryl Morey during his time with the Rockets and had his best seasons under Doc Rivers with the Clippers. He is expected to play a major role in solving the Sixers’ backup center issue this season. His rim-rocking ability and vibrant personality are sure to make him a fan favorite. The 28-year-old has publically stated his excitement online and seems to enjoy the fans that already believe in him. The big man quote tweeted a post on Twitter saying revenge year is coming to further increase the excitement.

Harrell’s Recent Struggles

The peak of his career thus far occurred during the 2019-20 season with the Clippers. Harrell averaged an impressive 18.6 points. 7.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.1 blocks in his 27.8 minutes per game. The Louisville product was given the Sixth Man of the Year Award for his impressive bench production and played a valuable role in the Clippers’ regular season success.

Since this time he has bounced around the NBA. He signed with the Lakers following this season and spent one season with the team. Harrell was then traded to the Wizards in the deal that brought Russell Westbrook to the Lakers. He spent half of a season with Washington before being traded to the Charlotte Hornets to finish out last year.

While he was expected to be a desired free agent this offseason, some legal trouble complicated this. Harrell was pulled over with three pounds of marijuana in his vehicle this summer and faced felony charges. After going through the legal process, the charges were reduced to a misdemeanor, and assured his availability for the season. Once the legal process was completed, the Sixers jumped at the opportunity to add the talented free agent.

2022-23 Expectations for Montrezl Harrell

The struggle to find an effective backup center has dated back several years for the Sixers. The team has run through several notable names including Dwight Howard, Andre Drummond, DeAndre Jordan, and more but has failed to find a player capable of filling the massive shoes that Joel Embiid leaves. Paul Reed provided the team with arguably the best backup minutes the team has seen during last year’s postseason but still has some notable growing pains to work through.

The most exciting part of the Harrell addition is his offensive ability and chemistry with James Harden. While his 6’7″ frame may not make him appear like a typical big man, his play certainly does. Harrell is a pick-and-roll machine who loves rising up for a rim-rocking dunk. During the two seasons he played with Harden in Houston, he ranked in the 87th and 89th percentiles for pick-and-roll possessions.

This ability will make the Sixers much more flexible from a rotation standpoint. A lineup of James Harden, Montrezl Harrell, and three shooters can bring on a great amount of success. During their final season together in Houston, the lineup of Harden, Harrell, Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza, and Eric Gordon outscored opponents by twenty points per 100 possessions and was the best statistical lineup on the team.

While the other three guys on the court certainly played a role, there is a logic behind trying to recreate this. The feeling surrounding Harrell seems to be that his has fallen off, but he is still just 28 years old. With a more defined role and familiar teammates and coaching, a bounce-back year from the former Sixth Man of the Year could certainly be in store. He has made it clear these are his intentions, now it is time to see it on the court.

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