The Los Angeles Clippers were one of the biggest disappointments of the 2019-20 season. From favorites to second-round exit, it wasn’t pretty for them. To make matters worse, they are bound to lose Montrezl Harrell for the upcoming season,
The power forward had a career-best season that saw him win the Sixth Man of the Year award. However, he couldn’t translate his regular-season success into the playoffs and that was one of the reasons why the Clippers failed. But his three-year stint with them is now over and he will be looking to sign with a new team in Free Agency now.
The most likely option could be the Toronto Raptors. Their current big men, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka, are going to hit free agency. While Harrell doesn’t have the same spacing skillset, he will still be a younger and more athletic option. The Raptors also have Chris Boucher, who has an expiring contract, but he is a restricted free agent.
They can sign Ibaka and Harrell since they have bird rights for the Congo big man. Harrell will be a huge boost over Gasol, who at 35, doesn’t have much to offer now. The major negative about signing Harrell is that it prevents them from having cap space for one of the most stacked free agency classes next season.
Harrell recently posted workout pictures with Raptors’ Stanley Johnson, and him following the team on Instagram has fans wondering if this is his next destination.
Another option for Harrell could be the Phoenix Suns. After not making the playoffs once again, the Suns should go all out for him. Harrell is one of the best free agents currently and the Suns are one of the few teams that have cap space. So they should definitely pounce on this opportunity.
At the Suns, Harrell might have a different role. After coming off the bench for three seasons, he could start alongside DeAndre Ayton and form a solid frontcourt duo. The Suns showed in the bubble that their exciting young core has the ability and Harrell could help them take it to the next level.
The third option on the table could the New Orleans Pelicans. Just like the Suns, the Pelicans also have a young core that narrowly missed out on the playoffs. They already have to resign Derrick Favors and they should go after Harrell to solve their bench woes. They allowed only 108.8 points per 100 possessions when Favors was on the floor compared to 114.2 when he was on the bench.
So having either of them off the bench will definitely solidify their defense. Brandon Ingram is only getting better, and Zion Williamson has proven he can make a difference when fit. Adding Harrell to the mix could easily make them a lower-seed playoff team.
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