Report: Clippers teammates feared Montrezl Harrell was too focused on contract numbers in bubble - Lakers Daily

Report: Clippers teammates feared Montrezl Harrell was too focused on contract numbers in bubble

Kawhi Leonard and Montrezl Harrell Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

A new report indicates that new Los Angeles Lakers forward Montrezl Harrell’s focus during the NBA bubble was possibly distracted by the fact that was he was poised to enter the free-agent market.

Jovan Buha of The Athletic delved into the meltdown of the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2020 postseason and explored possible reasons for why their season ended in disappointment. One of those reasons reportedly stemmed from the distracted nature of Harrell and other Clippers.

“Another point of contention was that certain players felt teammates were looking out for their contracts more than the team, league sources said,” wrote Buha. “Earlier in the season, teammates had felt Harrell was looking out for his numbers because he was a pending free agent, and that belief continued into the bubble.”

In his third season with the Clippers, the 26-year-old Harrell put up career-high numbers with 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game, but the Clippers finished behind the Lakers during the 2019-20 regular season.

The Clippers struggled before defeating the Dallas Mavericks in six games during the postseason, then collapsed against the Denver Nuggets in seven games after holding a 3-1 advantage in the series.

Despite that slide, the Lakers signed Harrell to a two-year deal during free agency.

Given that Harrell’s immediate future is now clarified, any questions about his focus should be eliminated. Even if that isn’t the case, players such as LeBron James will likely make sure that Harrell is zeroed in on helping the Lakers win.