The NBA trade deadline is less than 48 hours away, meaning that rumors have started piling up. Although the Los Angeles Lakers made multiple moves this offseason after winning a title last summer, the franchise has reportedly been in trade discussions involving one of its players.
According to a report from Bleacher Report’s Justin Fischer, the Lakers have entertained calls from the Charlotte Hornets about the availability of Montrezl Harrell. The reigning Sixth Man of the Year switched Los Angeles teams earlier this offseason after spending the 2019-20 season with the Clippers.
Harrell has a solid year with the Lakers, averaging 14.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game on over 64 percent shooting. He’s proven to be a reliable piece of the team’s frontcourt rotation, especially with the early-season injury to Anthony Davis.
When his name was brought up in trade talks, Harrell clearly took note. He summed up his thoughts with just one emoji in a tweet on Monday.
— Montrezl Harrell (@MONSTATREZZ) March 22, 2021
Although Harrell has been his usual, reliable self on offense, he remains undersized and unequipped on defense. Without a defender like Davis on the floor, the 6-foot-7 center has struggled against other adept bigs.
Even so, Harrell remains a solid complimentary piece to a deep Lakers team. When he joined the defending champs this offseason, along with Dennis Schroeder, LA looked like the favorites yet again.
But, the recent speculation makes it seem like the Lakers are reacting to recent injuries to their two best players. Davis has been down since mid-February with an Achilles issue and LeBron James suffered a high ankle sprain this week. If both continue to miss significant time, the Lakers could seems themselves slip in the Western Conference standings.
If general manager Rob Pelinka can work something out with Charlotte, or another organization, Los Angeles could get some insurance for the rest of the regular season. By the playoffs, the Lakers should be back at full strength and ready to mount a title defense.
Stay tuned to see what becomes of Harrell before the NBA trade deadline at 3:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 25.