The Los Angeles Clippers are reportedly interested in re-signing power forward Montrezl Harrell and small forward Marcus Morris, both of whom can become unrestricted free agents after the 2019-20 NBA season.
Jovan Buha of The Athletic reported Wednesday the duo is "arguably more valuable to the Clippers than they probably are to other teams" because L.A. doesn't have any projected cap space to sign replacements.
If the Clips' JaMychal Green exercises his $5 million player option for the 2020-21 campaign, the front office will only have a mid-level exception worth $6.025 million to target outside free agents, per Buha.
Both Harrell and Morris, who was acquired from the New York Knicks ahead of the trade deadline earlier this month, are key secondary contributors for the Clippers as they prepare for a playoff run led by the superstar tandem of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.
Harrell is averaging 18.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.1 blocks while shooting 57.9 percent from the field across 57 appearances (two starts) this season. He ranks seventh among power forwards in ESPN's Real Plus-Minus.
The 26-year-old North Carolina native told Farbod Esnaashari of Forbes in December his main motivation on the financial side is helping his family.
"The main thing for me was to make sure my family was straight," Harrell said about buying his family a home after signing his last contract in 2018. "I do my spending on things that I want, but I do it in moderation."
Morris has averaged 11.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in six games since the trade. The Clippers made him a three-year, $41 million offer last summer before he opted to since with the Knicks, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic.
"It had nothing to do with me playing here (in L.A.)," Morris said. "Personally, as a player, I felt as though I was worth more. I felt as though my time in the NBA, with the production I had throughout the years, I felt I was worth more than what they offered. That was just my opinion. As a player that's what I was standing on."
The Clippers' focus likely won't shift to contracts for their impending free agents until after their playoff run comes to a close with the franchise aiming for its first championship.