Montrezl Dashay Harrell (/ /; born January 26, 1994) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Louisville Cardinals. Harrell received the Karl Malone Award as the top power forward in the nation as a junior in 2015. He was selected in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft by the Houston Rockets. He was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2017 and was named NBA Sixth Man of the Year in 2020.
High school career
Harrell, a 6' 7" power forward from Tarboro, North Carolina, starred at North Edgecombe High School before prepping for a year at Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia. There he led the team to a 38–1 record while averaging 25.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game. Originally Harrell committed to play college basketball for coach Seth Greenberg at Virginia Tech, but after Greenberg was fired, Harrell was released from his commitment and chose Louisville.
As a freshman, Harrell backed up power forward Chane Behanan, averaging 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per game. He played his best at the end of the season, scoring 20 points in the Cardinals' Big East Conference championship victory over Syracuse. In his reserve role, Harrell helped the Cardinals win the 2013 NCAA championship, which was later vacated, to cap his freshman season.
With Gorgui Dieng's departure for the 2013 NBA draft, Harrell received recognition in the offseason leading to his sophomore year as one of the top returning players in the country. The Sporting News selected Harrell to the preseason All-America third team in its 2013–14 college basketball preview magazine. He and teammate Russ Smith received postseason honors, being named to the American Athletic Conference's all-conference first team.
Harrell decided to stay for his junior season instead of opting for the NBA, and the Cardinals moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). In the 2014–15 season, he averaged 15.7 points and 9.2 rebounds per game and was the inaugural winner of the Karl Malone Award, given to the nation's top power forward. He was also named second-team All-ACC.
Houston Rockets (2015–2017)
On June 25, 2015, Harrell was selected by the Houston Rockets in the second round of the 2015 NBA draft with the 32nd overall pick. On September 19, 2015, he signed a three-year deal with the Rockets. He made his debut for the Rockets in the team's season opener against the Denver Nuggets on October 28, recording eight points and three rebounds in a 105–85 loss. Two days later, he scored 17 points in a loss to the Golden State Warriors. On November 13, he made his first career start, scoring five points in just under 13 minutes of action, as the Rockets were defeated by the Denver Nuggets 107–98. On March 28, 2016, Harrell received a five-game suspension without pay for pushing a game official. During his rookie season, he received multiple assignments to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Rockets' D-League affiliate.
On November 2, 2016, Harrell had a 17-point, 10-rebound effort off the bench in a 118–99 win over the New York Knicks. On December 21, 2016 against the Phoenix Suns, Harrell made his first start of the season and second of his career. He scored 17 points as a result, tying a career high. On December 30, he set a new career high with 29 points in a 140–116 win over the Los Angeles Clippers. On January 8, 2017, he had 28 points in 26 minutes off the bench on 12-of-13 shooting in a 129–122 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Los Angeles Clippers (2017–2020)
On June 28, 2017, the Los Angeles Clippers acquired Harrell, Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Darrun Hilliard, DeAndre Liggins, Lou Williams, Kyle Wiltjer and a 2018 first-round pick from the Houston Rockets in exchange for Chris Paul. On January 11, 2018, he scored a season-high 25 points in a 121–115 win over the Sacramento Kings.
On July 24, 2018, Harrell re-signed with the Clippers. On October 26, 2018, Harrell scored a career-high 30 points off the bench in a 133–113 win over the Houston Rockets. On February 22, 2019, he matched his career high with 30 points in a 112–106 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Three days later, he set a new career high with 32 points in a 121–112 win over the Dallas Mavericks. In September 2020, Harrell was named the NBA Sixth Man of the Year. However, the Clippers fell in seven games after the Denver Nuggets came back from a 3–1 deficit. Harrell averaged 10.5 points and 2.9 rebounds in the playoffs.
Los Angeles Lakers (2020–present)
On November 22, 2020, Harrell signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. On December 22, 2020, Harrell made his Lakers debut, putting up 17 points, 10 rebounds, and three assists, in a 116–109 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
National team career
NBA career statistics
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Harrell is the son of Samuel and Selena Harrell and has two younger brothers, Cadarius and Quatauis.
Harrell enjoys collecting and designing sneakers. Through social media, he finds sneaker customizers who can make his shoe designs a reality. Harrell wears different shoes during the first and second half of every basketball game. In August 2018, the NBA modified its shoe policy allowing NBA players to wear any colored shoes.