Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell, Lakers Agree to 2-Year, $19M Contract

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers' Montrezl Harrell (5) celebrates after a basket during the second half of an NBA basketball first round playoff game against the Dallas Mavericks,Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers and forward Montrezl Harrell reportedly agreed to a deal, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.

Agent Rich Paul confirmed the terms of the deal to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski: two years and $19 million with an option for the second season. The Lakers used the mid-level exception on the deal.

Harrell spent the last three seasons with the Clippers, emerging as one of the NBA's best bench players. He averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds last season while providing energy off the bench for an L.A. Clippers team that reached the second round of the postseason.

While Harrell's play was strong enough to earn him Sixth Man of the Year honors for the regular season, his play fell apart in the bubble. Harrell was one of the biggest disappointments as the Clippers failed to live up to playoff expectations, with his numbers and playing time taking a significant dip. Some viewed Harrell's playoff struggles as evidence he is not a top-end rotation player in the playoffs, due to his limitations as a non-shooter and on defense. 

Harrell was nonetheless expected to be one of the top free agents on the market. However, the loss of revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic made finances difficult for every player hitting free agency. Few teams were expected to have significant cap space coming into the 2020 offseason. That number dwindled an even greater deal due to COVID-19, and many teams have understandably been conservative with their spending.

Harrell, underpaid throughout his career, found himself stuck in a difficult spot. He could sign a short-term deal coming off a career year, with hopes of keeping that level of play and entering the open market in a more stable financial environment, or ink a deal that provides him with the most amount of financial security in uncertain times.

The NBA has tried to stabilize its finances as best possible, keeping the cap flat from last season and attempting to spread losses over multiple years. 

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Harrell chose multiple years with the other Los Angeles team.