Report: Montrezl Harrell to Miss Opening Night Contest vs. Lakers
The LA Clippers will be down a few key players when they take on the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night, including star reserve Montrezl Harrell.
According to Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, Harrell will miss the opening night matchup, and it is "unclear" when he'll rejoin the team in Orlando as he's still tending to a personal matter — despite earlier evidence suggesting he was already on his way.
The 26-year-old left the bubble last week to deal with a family emergency, while other key members of the team — including Patrick Beverley and Lou Williams — left for similar reasons. The trio makes up three of the team's five most important players, and the Clippers could struggle without them.
Harrell is in the midst of his best season to date in the NBA. The Sixth Man of the Year candidate is averaging a career-high 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in less than 28 minutes per contest and has missed just one game all season long.
In addition to Harrell, Lou Williams will miss Thursday's game as well as he waits out his 10-day quarantine. Williams could have been eligible to play, but a detour to an Atlanta restaurant during his excused absence resulted in him receiving an extended quarantine period.
Once he gets back to the NBA campus, Harrell will only have to endure a two-day quarantine before he can rejoin the team as he's tested negative for the coronavirus each day since leaving the bubble.
To make up for Harrell's absence, look for guys like Ivica Zubac, Joakim Noah and JaMychal Green to see more time on the court. Zubac and Noah are the more traditional options at the five, but Green's ability to space the floor will earn him some extra minutes.
Following their meeting with the Lakers this Thursday, the Clippers will face-off with the New Orleans Pelicans on Aug. 1 and the Phoenix Suns on Aug. 4. If Harrell misses both of those games, he'll have five more chances to get back on the floor before the postseason begins.