Shams: LA Clippers, Montrezl Harrell Have 'Mutual Interest' in Striking Deal
The LA Clippers have plenty of decisions to work through this offseason after their early exit from the second round of the NBA Playoffs. The NBA Draft is not so much an issue given LA's lack of selections (the Clippers have the No. 57 pick in 2020), but free agency will require a lot of attention.
Marcus Morris, Montrezl Harrell, Patrick Patterson and Reggie Jackson will all become unrestricted free agents while JaMychal Green has a player option for the upcoming season.
It's unknown how the franchise will approach most of those decisions, but according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, LA and Harrell have "mutual interest" in working toward a new contract.
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year had an impressive regular season, posting career-high numbers in points (18.6) and rebounds (7.1), but his postseason performance left a lot to be desired.
Harrell averaged just 10.5 points and 2.9 rebounds in roughly 19 minutes per game and was almost unplayable at times. His size and defensive limitations made him a liability against Denver's Nikola Jokic, and he struggled to get anything going against Boban Marjanovic in LA's first-round series with the Dallas Mavericks.
Harrell wasn't necessarily put in the best position to succeed — he would've had a much better series against Denver if he wasn't on the floor with Jokic, for example — but the issues that surfaced certainly aren't going anywhere, either.
There are also some chemistry issues to consider, as Harrell reportedly got into an altercation with Paul George in Game 2 against the Nuggets.
Charania notes that Harrell is expected to have multiple suitors in free agency, so if the two sides are unable to come to terms on a deal, he'll almost certainly be playing basketball elsewhere in 2021.
Additionally, Charania reports that Green will have multiple teams interested in his talents if he chooses to opt-out of his current contract, worth just over $5 million. Based on his performance in the postseason, there's a good chance he could earn more on a new deal.
Make no mistake — LA will have difficult decisions to make no matter how it approaches free agency. The current system simply isn't working for the Clippers, and with the franchise entering what could be the final year of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George's partnership, there's no telling what changes will be made to the roster before the beginning of the 2021 season.