Former Louisville Forward Montrezl Harrell has been on NBA scouts’ radar for quite some time. The fiery forward shocked some by returning to U of L for his junior season. Last year Harrell was a projected top 20 pick. This year his projected draft slot isn’t that much different as he is slated to go in the late portions of the first round. Harrell possesses some freakish physical attributes including a 7’4″ wingspan (draftexpress.com). Despite measuring at an undersized 6’7″ his wingspan will make up for that and allow him to disrupt shots and rebound well. He also weighed in at a solid 253 pounds during the NBA combine which is good for defending bigger players in the paint. If picked by the right team Harrell could flourish as the prototypical garbage man. His role must be one that is very simple to start to mask his limitations on offense (inconsistent jump shot, unpolished low post moves). Here are three teams that could use his services.
At pick 22 Chicago could take Harrell in hopes he can replace the worn down and diminished Joakim Noah. Noah is due $13.4 million next season and the Bulls may be looking to part ways with him soon according to reports. Harrell could step in and provide the energy and defense that Noah used to be known for. Again Harrell’s role would be simplified as Derrick Rose, Pau Gasol and the team’s top free agent priority Jimmy Butler would carry the team offensively. The inside toughness that Gasol lacks could be made up by Harrell’s grit and toughness. Chicago fans would would cling on easily to Harrell’s relentless attitude.
The Cavs could use some depth inside, as seen in the finals. With Tristan Thompson entering free agency and looking to cash in off his stellar playoff performance, coupled with Anderson Varejao’s future in doubt because of injury, Harrell could take that role and give them great energy off the bench. Harrell’s explosiveness would be a great fit for the pick and roll heavy Cavs offense. Picture Harrell catching lobs from LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Matthew Dellavedova just like Thompson did. Also the great leadership of James could come in handy to tame the sometimes volatile attitude of Harrell. There would be nobody better to learn professionalism from than King James so that moments like this don’t happen.
San Antonio Spurs
Add the Spurs to the list of contenders that would be great for Harrell. San Antonio could really use some help at the back-up four position as Aron Baynes and Matt Bonner struggled. The San Antonio culture would also be good for Harrell just as it would be in Cleveland. Tim Duncan would take him under his wing and not to mention take some minutes off of the old vet who is likely playing in his final season.
Golden State Warriors
The defending champs are likely to part ways with David Lee who plays a lot like Harrell. Harrell could be a huge asset off the bench and will reap the benefits of the Warriors high shot volume offense with offensive rebounds. He would also be able to play in the ultra small lineups that coach Steve Kerr like to throw out. Harrell’s athleticism and defensive verstility allows him to switch picks and guard smaller players just like Draymond Green.
High motor Unpolished offensive game
Defensive Versatilty Basketball IQ
Freakish Wingspan Temper