One of the biggest signings the Los Angeles Lakers made last offseason was 2020 Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell. Vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka said that the Lakers would not sit on their laurels after winning a championship and the move to bring in Harrell was proof of exactly that.
In terms of pure numbers, Harrell didn’t have quite the impact he had in the previous season, though that may have had to do with his minutes going down as he improved his field goal percentage from 2020.
But whether he was playing 30 minutes or three, Harrell always gave everything he had any time he was on the court, and that was something that stood out to Pelinka.
“In terms of Montrezl, again, just such an appreciation for the level of passion and competitiveness that he plays with,” Pelinka said. “In his exit meeting today, I told him if he was out on an off day playing against some of our younger assistant coaches in sort of a pick-up game, or if it was a big regular-season game, he would have the same level of passion and energy and drive.
Pelinka continued on about his appreciation of what Harrell brings to the table. “The guy loves basketball, he loves to compete. Every minute he plays with that level of intensity and it’s certainly something we appreciated all season long from him.”
Now with the offseason here, Harrell’s future with the Lakers is in question. He has had nothing but great things to say about the franchise, but he does have a player option for next season that he may choose to decline and re-enter the free agency market.
What Harrell decides to do this summer will likely have to do with what he values most at this point in his career. There aren’t many teams that would give him a better chance to win a championship next season, but he could prefer a bigger or more consistent role than he would be in line for with the Lakers, or make more money elsewhere.
If that turns out to be the case the Lakers will surely miss his energy and passion, but there will be no hard feelings between the two sides.
Harrell doesn’t know what his future with the Lakers holds
When it comes to what Harrell prefers next season, even he isn’t sure what to expect just yet. While it will all be worked out eventually, as it stands, the big man doesn’t know what his future with the Lakers holds.
“You know, I came in every day and did my job, I did what they asked me to do, and I played my role, simple as that. As far as my future, I don’t know what that holds right now […] “But I came in and did my job, and whenever my number was called I went out there and played to the best of my abilities and left it all on the floor.”
While Harrell has his positives and negatives on the court, no one will ever question that he gave everything he had to the Lakers this season.
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