Montrezl Harrell takes massive shot at Lakers while explaining why he's playing better this season - Lakers Daily

Montrezl Harrell takes massive shot at Lakers while explaining why he’s playing better this season

Montrezl Harrell Wizards Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Former Los Angeles Lakers big man Montrezl Harrell is thriving with his new team, the Washington Wizards.

When asked why he has been playing better this year compared to last year, he offered a straightforward response.

Last month, he also took a shot at the Lakers for how the team used him in the 2020-21 campaign, even going as far as to say that it felt like he had a season off.

Harrell entered the league in 2015 after the Houston Rockets selected him with the 32nd overall pick in that year’s draft. But it wasn’t until the Los Angeles Clippers traded for him two years later that he got the chance to showcase his potential.

The 6-foot-7 center became the Clippers’ first big man off the bench not too long after the trade. He flourished in that role and won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year award in the 2019-20 season. He averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game that season.

Harrell then surprised many people across the league by signing with the Clippers’ rival in the 2020 offseason. The Lakers had just won the NBA title then and were looking to repeat as champions with the help of several roster additions, including Harrell.

However, Harrell saw a significant dip in playing time and stats in the 2020-21 regular season. He also became an afterthought in the Lakers’ rotation come playoff time. Harrell averaged just 9.8 minutes per contest in four games in the first round. L.A. was eliminated by the Phoenix Suns 4-2 in that round.

The University of Louisville product was included in the trade package that landed Russell Westbrook in L.A last offseason. He has clearly settled in his new role in Washington, posting averages of 18.0 points and 9.7 rebounds per game in nine matches.