Report: Montrezl Harrell Turned Down Bigger Hornets Contract to Sign with Lakers

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2020

Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell yells after getting called for a foul during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday, March 1, 2020, in Los Angeles. The Clippers won 136-130. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell reportedly turned down more money from the Charlotte Hornets to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers, according to Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times.

Harrell's agent, Rich Paul of Klutch Sports, told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Friday night that Harrell had agreed to a two-year deal with the Lakers in free agency.

Paul also represents Lakers superstar LeBron James, who helped lead L.A. to its first championship since 2010 last season.

Harrell, 26, spent the past three seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers after a two-year stint with the Houston Rockets to begin his career. Harrell has gotten better in each of his five seasons, and he enjoyed a career year in 2019-20.

The rugged big man started just two of the 63 games he appeared in, but he still averaged 18.6 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 58.0 percent from the field.

Harrell was the third consecutive Clipper to win the Sixth Man of the Year Award, as Lou Williams won it in 2017-18 and 2018-19. Harrell also made it four out of five for the Clips since Jamal Crawford claimed the honor in 2015-16.

Harrell represents a potentially massive addition for a team that is returning James and presumably Anthony Davis, who is expected to re-sign with L.A. after declining a player option for next season.

The Lakers also acquired Sixth Man of the Year runner-up Dennis Schroder from the Oklahoma City Thunder, giving them an explosive guard to complement James and Davis.

The Harrell signing looms large for the Lakers after ESPN reported veteran center Dwight Howard signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Harrell would have been a huge signing for the Hornets, who continue to reshape their roster since losing franchise player Kemba Walker to the Boston Celtics last offseason.

Charlotte is rebuilding, but it selected guard LaMelo Ball with the No. 3 pick in the draft Wednesday, adding to a talented, young nucleus that already included P.J. Washington, Miles Bridges, Terry Rozier and Devonte' Graham.

Harrell would have filled a major need for the Hornets and may have been in line to put up better numbers than he will with the Lakers, but L.A. is the favorite to win the championship next season whereas Charlotte is a long shot to even make the playoffs.