Report: Clippers' Montrezl Harrell Expected to Clear Quarantine, Play Game 1August 14, 2020
Los Angeles Clippers big man Montrezl Harrell will be eligible for activation against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the Clips' first-round Western Conference playoff series, per ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk and Adrian Wojnarowski.
Harrell left the NBA's Walt Disney World campus in July for "an emergency family matter," per Shams Charania of Stadium and the Athletic.
On August 4, the fourth-year pro revealed on Twitter that his grandmother had died. Harrell returned to the team last Sunday before entering a seven-day quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, per Youngmisuk and Wojnarowski.
That quarantine did not allow Harrell to play with the team during its remaining seeding games, but it will be over just in time for the playoffs, which begin Monday at 9 p.m. ET for the Clips.
Adding Harrell back to the rotation will be a welcome sight for a Clippers team that has rarely had all of its core pieces together on the court at the same time.
Two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and six-time All-Star Paul George have combined to miss 37 games, and Harrell, who has averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds, has not suited up for the Clips during the restart. Starting point guard Patrick Beverley has also been out for 20 games.
L.A. may not be at full health when the playoffs begin, however. Beverley (calf) and shooting guard Landry Shamet (foot) will not play the team's final seeding game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday, and it's unclear when they will return.
Beverley and Shamet's absences will hinder the team's backcourt depth if one or both are forced to miss playoff time, although the team's frontcourt is good to go with the return of Harrell, who joins a team big man group that includes Ivica Zubac, Marcus Morris and JaMychal Green.
Harrell also completes an excellent second unit that recently saw the return of Lou Williams, the team's fourth-leading scorer, from quarantine. Together, those two lead what is arguably the best and deepest bench in the NBA, one that can propel the Clips to its first-ever NBA Finals title.
That quest starts Monday at 9 p.m. against the Mavs on ESPN.