The Washington Wizards are thriving in the Eastern Conference, and Montrezl Harrell has played a crucial role in their success so far in the 2021-22 NBA season. When asked about his improvement in form compared to last season, Harrell had a peculiar answer:
“Montrezl Harrell is on the floor, brother. That’s the biggest difference.”
In the nine games played for the Wizards, Montrezl Harrell has started in only two but is averaging 30 minutes per game. The big man has taken advantage of the increased playtime and, with 18 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, he is rewarding his team for trusting him.
There has to be something that the Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. sees in Montrezl Harrell that Frank Vogel failed to see. The Louisville product has been inspirational for the Wizards this season.
The undersized big man has taken every opportunity to send a message to his former team, the LA Lakers, considering how things turned out during his run with them. Montrezl Harrell joined Purple and Gold in the 2020 offseason, but things did not go the way both parties expected before the acquisition.
Montrezl Harrell’s journey in the NBA so far
An NBA player will almost always perform when given enough time on the court, and this was Montrezl Harrell’s issue with the Lakers. It was difficult to comprehend, but the 6″7′ center was wasted on the bench on various occasions, even when his energy might have done wonders in propelling the Lakers to victories.
In the 2021 playoffs, Montrezl Harrell featured in only four games for the Lakers, averaging 9.8 minutes. These were strange numbers for the then reigning NBA Sixth Man of the Year.
Montrezl Harrell started his NBA career with the Houston Rockets after he was selected in the second round of the 2015 draft. After two seasons with the Rockets, he got traded to the LA Clippers where he started to get some recognition.
The decision to join the fellow Los Angeles-based franchise was a shock to many, but it was understandable, given that the Lakers were the defending NBA champions and were favorites to win the title in the 2020-21 season. Unfortunately, the Lakers crashed out in the first round of the 2021 playoffs, and Montrezl Harrell was not allowed to help his team.
In a blockbuster five-team trade that sent Russell Westbrook to the Purple and Gold, Montrezl Harrell, alongside Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma, was sent to the Wizards. So far, Harrell is playing his best basketball, and he sticks it to the Lakers every chance he gets.
When the Wizards met with the Boston Celtics earlier in the season, he was sighted calling his former teammate (Dennis Schroder) ‘trash’ after executing a beautiful spin move for the easy deuce.
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Montrezl Harrell is not happy with how he was treated during his time with the Lakers, and he is making sure everybody knows.