Should Raptors Target Montrezl Harrell in Free Agency?

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Free agency is coming closer and closer, especially if you’re the Toronto Raptors who have been eliminated from the playoffs for a little while now.

The Toronto Raptors have some decisions to make this off-season as they are in need of extending some of their key players.

The only sure player I see them re-signing is Fred VanVleet, and potentially Serge Ibaka as well but I don’t see them bringing back Marc Gasol because of age and production.

With that being said if they lose Marc Gasol they need to bring in a big man to replace him minutes either starting or coming off the bench. So let’s take a look at a potential candidate in Montrezl Harrell.

Who is Montrezl Harrell?

The potential candidate I have the Toronto Raptors going after this off-season in free agency is Montrezl Harrell. Harrell is a 26-year-old big man who is currently on the Los Angeles Clippers and can play power forward and center so it’ll be very intriguing for him to come to Toronto because of that main reason. He’s set to become a UFA when free agency hits and in my eyes could be a very good pickup for the Toronto Raptors who could need a big man by next season.

2019-20 stats – 63 GP – 18.6 PPG – 7.1 RPG – 1.7 APG – .580 FG% – .000 3P% – .658 FT%

Career stats – 318 GP – 12.7 PPG – 4.9 RPG – 1.3 APG – .614 FG% – .100 3P% – .638 FT%

Looking at those stats more so his 2019-20 stats, they are pretty eye-opening in a good way especially after he just won the sixth man of the year award after a stellar year with the Clippers. If he comes to Toronto he can easily come off the bench and provide that spark and energy or he can maybe even get a starting role but split minutes with Serge Ibaka if the Raptors do indeed re-sign Ibaka as well. (Stats from Basketball-Reference.com)

Harrell Unfollows Clippers and Follows Raptors on Instagram

It’s been out there for a couple of days now but Montrezl Harrell unfollowed the Los Angeles Clippers on Instagram and followed the Toronto Raptors right after. As I said earlier he is set to become a UFA during the off-season so maybe there is a potential connection there with him and the Raptors that is low-key and flying under the radar.

As we know the Raptors keep a lot of their news within the organization and rarely ever leak anything before it actually happens so maybe Harrell could come to Toronto.

It was also reported by Bleacher Report a couple of days ago after the Clippers got eliminated by the Nuggets that Harrell and Paul George had a “heated” exchange during the series. After their Game 2 loss, George blamed Harrell for a turnover and Harrell went on telling George that he was right and he can never be wrong with whatever he says. Here is the exact quote reported by Chris Baynes.

“Harrell responded with something along the lines of, ‘You’re always right. Nobody can tell you nothing,’ and expletives were uttered from both players, sources said. George eventually toned down his rhetoric, but a heated Harrell wasn’t having it. Teammates began clapping on the sideline, in part to disguise what was going on and in an attempt to defuse the situation. The incident deescalated shortly after as coach Doc Rivers took his seat to go over the game plan.”

In my eyes, if Harrell and George aren’t seeing eye to eye and he is set to become a UFA this off-season, I could see him walking away from the Clippers especially after a second-round loss.

 

What is a Good Contract for Harrell?

I don’t want to try and guess contracts because I could totally be wrong with the money and the term, however, I’ll give it a shot and try to assume what an appropriate contract for Montrezl Harrell should look like if you’re the Toronto Raptors.

His current contract was a two year deal with an AAV (annual average value) of $6M. It’s safe to say he will be getting quite the raise after his season this year and winning the sixth man of the year award too. So let’s take a wild guess at a potential contract for him if you’re the Raptors, i’m thinking maybe something like this.

3 years  x $12-15M

I have Harrell getting a pay raise of about $6-9M from his last contract of $6M AAV. At this price, he wouldn’t be all that terrible but then again I don’t want to guess contracts but I think this would be reasonable for both sides as Toronto is more than likely going to lose Marc Gasol and need another big man. Like I’ve said in many articles, Toronto needs to be smart with their money if they want to pursue Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2021 free agency.

Next: Should the Toronto Raptors re-sign Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, or Both?

Do you think Montrezl Harrell could be a good fit for Toronto Raptors, or do you think it’s best if the Raptors don’t sign him and they go after someone else?