The Los Angeles Lakers have enjoyed a phenomenal start to Free Agency. They have brought in Dennis Schroder, Marc Gasol, and Wesley Matthews, and the biggest new addition is Montrezl Harrell.
The reigning Sixth Man of the Year joined from rivals Clippers on a cheap $9 million a year deal, with a player option for his 2nd season.
But NBA analyst Skip Bayless remains unimpressed with the Lakers’ new signing. He talked about how Harrell’s poor bubble performance and lack of rim protection should be signs of misery for the Lakers.
He said, “Trez got exposed in the Bubble. Especially against Denver, had no chance trying to guard any big. Whether it was Plumlee or especially Jokic.
“You know why? Trez is listed at 6’8, he cannot guard the post. He cannot rim protect. He’s a liability on defense. He is a beast on offense, I give you that.
“He will attack like crazy. I think he was fourth in the NBA in points in the paint because that’s what he does. He can’t shoot, but he can attack. So is that all you got? Because your defense just took a huge hit.”
For once, Skip’s criticism doesn’t seem completely biased and involves facts as well. Standing at 6’7″ tall, Harrell isn’t the tallest of big men in the league. So his rim protection ability is hampered due to this factor.
Although he averaged 1.1 blocks per game last season, he struggles on defense against taller players, as he did against the Nuggets in the 2020 Playoffs.
But fortunately for him, he will play alongside one of the best rim protectors in the league in Anthony Davis. The 3-time blocks champion is a force to reckon with on defense, and he has been the Lakers’ rock in the paint. At the Clippers, Harrell played alongside Zubac, who is also good but obviously not even close to how good Davis is.
The Lakers also have Marc Gasol, who despite being 35 now, is still a good defender. So Harrell will be relieved that he has such capable teammates and can excel in his own role.
There is no doubt that he will be a huge addition to the Lake Show, and his contribution will be needed for them to retain their title.
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops