LA Clippers Bring Back Montrezl Harrell to Bolster Bench

DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 27: Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 27: Montrezl Harrell #5 of the LA Clippers /

Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, free agent big Montrezl Harrell has agreed to a two-year, $12 million deal to return to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Earlier today, NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the LA Clippers had agreed to re-sign restricted free agent Montrezl Harrell. The two sides were able to agree upon a two-year, $12 million contract. The amount is fully guaranteed as well, which was confirmed by Wojnarowski some time after the initial announcement.

Harrell, 24, came to the Clippers via the Chris Paul deal. Initially something of an afterthought, the Louisville product worked his way into the rotation rather quickly by playing strong, efficient basketball.

In 76 games last season, Harrell averaged 11.0 points and 4.0 rebounds in just 17.0 minutes per game. Additionally, Harrell shot an effective field goal percentage of 63.6. Across three starts, he averaged 7.3 points and 3.3 rebounds across 19.3 minutes per game.

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By adding Harrell, the Clippers have further strengthened an impressive bench unit that already featured the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Lou Williams.

This summer, LA also added bench players Mike Scott and Luc Mbah a Moute via free agency, and rookies Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson.

Assuming the starting rotation stays largely the same as it did down the stretch of the 2017-2018 season (with the exception of Marcin Gortat and Avery Bradley being inserted at center and shooting guard, respectively), the Clippers can roll out a bench unit featuring Gilgeous-Alexander, Williams, Mbah a Moute, Scott, and Harrell.

However, like last season, that certainly isn’t set in stone. Harrell may be promoted to LA’s starting  center position by year’s end, if not sooner.

Harrell isn’t the only one who may do that, either. The Clippers bench features several starting-caliber players, and depending on certain situations, may get the start over the usual bunch. One player in particular is Mbah a Moute, who started 76 games for LA during the 2016-2017 season. His defensive versatility, as well as Danilo Gallinari‘s health, are both factors that could be important in a temporary promotion.

With the signing of Harrell, the Clippers have vaulted their roster total far beyond the 15-man limit. Look for the team to begin waiving players that sit further down the depth chart as preseason approaches.