Report: Montrezl Harrell will opt-in to final year of Lakers contract

Montrezl Harrell
(Harry How/Getty Images)

The first domino of the Los Angeles Lakers’ offseason has fallen, as Montrezl Harrell will reportedly opt into the final year of his contract with the team (reported by Adrian Wojnarowski/ESPN). Harrell signed a 2-year, $19 million deal with the Lakers last season.

It wasn’t a surety that Harrell would opt-in to the final year of his contract, as it was reported only a few days ago that the big man was “50/50” on the decision. As it pertains to Harrell’s bank account, the move isn’t that surprising on the surface as it was going to be unlikely he saw a deal better than his current one after he was used sparingly by Frank Vogel in the playoffs.

It should be noted that Montrezl Harrell may not be on the Lakers next season anyway, as he can now be used as a trade piece. It’s been reported recently that he could be included in a deal for the Kings’ Buddy Hield along with Kyle Kuzma, with Wojnarowski seeming to confirm that that trade may be happening soon.

Montrezl Harrell signed with the Lakers last offseason in one of the more shocking moments of free agency, crossing the hallway of Staples Center from the Los Angeles Clippers. Clippers fans’ reactions to the move ranged from “meh” to happiness as Harrell was one of the main people blamed for the Clippers’ collapse in the 2020 Western Conference semi-finals series against the Denver Nuggets. He quickly gained a reputation as a player who couldn’t stay on the floor in the playoffs due to his underwhelming defense, a reputation that Frank Vogel and the Lakers appeared to confirm as he not used at all in two of the Lakers’ six games in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs.

Harrell averaged 13.5 points (62.2 FG%), 6.2 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks per game with the Lakers in the 2020-21 season.

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