Since the Los Angeles Lakers‘ early playoff exit, Montrezl Harrell continues to send subtle shots toward the team. It’s led to him receiving criticism via social media. Harrell didn’t take long to fire back a clear-cut message to his haters.
Montrezl Harrell’s rocky first season with the Lakers
Last offseason, the Lakers made a flurry of notable offseason moves to revamp the roster.
Los Angeles signed Harrell to a two-year contract worth roughly $18.9 million, including a player option for the second year. The 27-year-old’s experience didn’t play as expected as his role fluctuated throughout the season.
Injuries to Anthony Davis and LeBron James resulted in increased playing time. However, his role steadily diminished near the tail end of the regular season. He finished the campaign averaging 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds on 62.2% shooting from the floor in 22.9 minutes per contest in 69 appearances.
Harrell became a non-factor in the playoffs due to falling out of favor in the bench rotations. In the first-round playoff series against the Suns, averaging 5.8 points and 2.5 rebounds on 57.1% shooting in 9.8 minutes per contest in four games.
The big man’s decreased playing time led to him airing his frustrations via social media. It didn’t take long for fans to lash back toward him for his cryptic messages, to which he finally responded.
Lakers’ Montrezl Harrell delivers a crystal clear message to his haters
Since the Lakers‘ early playoff exit, Harrell remains quite active via social media sending cryptic shots toward his team.
The veteran big man hasn’t beat around the bush concerning his displeasure with his diminished role as the 2020-21 season rolled along. The 27-year-old finally hit a breaking point as he took to his Instagram story on Tuesday to address the hatred directed toward him.
“Aye I know I’m doing some right because every day I open this app someone hating on some I’m doing,” Harrell said. “God bless you all. Have a blessed week.”
Harrell is taking the fan criticism in stride while choosing not to lash back at the numerous harsh messages he’s received. Many of the comments likely concern the frustrations he’s aired regarding how his first campaign with the Lakers unfolded.
Harrell joined the franchise hoping to play a significant role off the bench, but his decreased playing time didn’t allow him to make a notable impact. Instead, it emphasized that head coach Frank Vogel didn’t feel he provided the presence to navigate the team toward competing for an NBA title.
The fan interactions through social media likely won’t influence his upcoming contract decision. However, it only heightens the importance of the move ahead.
His future in Los Angeles remains entirely in his control
Harrell’s interactions with fans on social media aside, he holds a critical contract decision ahead of this summer.
The 27-year-old possesses a roughly $9.7 million player option for next season. Harrell has complete control over the entire matter as he can either play another campaign with Los Angeles or enter free agency for the second straight year.
Harrell is likely leaning toward the latter option, given how his first season unfolded with his playing time steadily decreasing. He became a complete non-factor in the playoffs, which is when his role should become the most stable.
It’s hard to envision him holding any confidence that things will change next season, especially if the Lakers make some notable roster changes. All those factors suggest he will head into free agency to land in a situation where he can garner a more stable role off the bench.
Harrell holds no ill will toward Los Angeles, but rather is looking for the best move for the next chapter of his NBA career. A return isn’t out of the picture, but it’s unlikely he will play another game in a Lakers uniform.
Contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.