Acquiring Montrezl Harrell from the Los Angeles Clippers was one of the most underrated moves this free agency and a great decision by the Lakers front office. They needed another big man who is versatile on both ends of the floor, and Harrell is just a perfect fit after there was no interest from the Clippers to keep him on their roster.
Now, after seven games into this season with the Lakers, Harrell had enough time to reflect on his current situation and how it’s different than the one with the Clippers, for whom he played for three seasons. According to Harrell, the Lakers’ system is more free-flowing, allowing players to play their game, which essentially brings out their best qualities. Unlike with the Clippers, where the playing style was very limiting and the focus was on threes and layups.
“It’s really just being able to just play my game and just not being kind of told and sit on, ‘You always got to be this, this or this. “It’s kind of been the system I’ve kind of been playing in for a while. It’s got to be threes, layups, or let’s get free throws. But that’s not like that over here. They play to the style of everybody’s game, and we’re not looking at anybody that, ‘You have to do this, you got to do that,’ man. We play basketball over here. It’s a free-flowing game.”Montrezl Harrell, via OC Register
This comment coming from Harrell is not so surprising considering that the Clippers had many problems, especially last year in the playoffs. It was evident they heavily relly on individual plays, and if Kawhi or George couldn’t make plays, the Clippers had a hard time get something going on offense. That is perhaps one reason why Doc Rivers isn’t the head coach anymore, and they replaced him with Tyronne Lue, who now has a slightly changed squad, but the intact core of their players still there.
It’s good to hear Harrell found his place with the Lakers, where his contribution on offense is a bit lower than with the Clippers, but his impact on defense is the same. Coming off the bench in 25 minutes of action so far this season, Harrell is averaging 13 points and 7.6 rebounds, which is an excellent contribution from a role player. The Lakers are in a good rhythm, and it will also take them a bit more time to find the perfect chemistry when you consider the fact they changed half of their roster. According to everything we’ve seen so far, Harrell is a great fit, and apparently, the Lakers have a system that he prefers much more.