In some off the court news, Clippers’ star reserve big man Montrezl Harrell has returned to Klutch Agency, and will be repped once again by Rich Paul. Paul was Harrell’s agent entering the NBA, and while Harrell went elsewhere for a couple years, he will rejoin Paul, presumably in advance of being an unrestricted free agent next year.
Los Angels Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell is returning to agent Rich Paul from @KlutchSports. Harrell, who will be an unrestricted free agent next summer, had his best season last year, finishing third behind teammate Lou Williams in Sixth Man of the Year award voting.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 23, 2019
While Clippers’ fans might freak out about Trez being represented by Paul due to the fact that LeBron is his main client, and he has already pulled several other players (Anthony Davis, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope) to the Lakers, this seems purely like a “secure the bag” play from Trez. He signed a well-below-market 2 year, $12 million deal last summer, as his price was depressed due to restricted free agency. Montrezl is clearly determined not to be underpaid again, and Paul is as good a guy as any at getting his players paid (which is one of the primary roles of an agent, of course). This includes max players (Ben Simmons, John Wall), high-end role players (Tristan Thompson, Eric Bledsoe), and even lower-level guys (Cory Joseph, KCP). Frankly, if Trez wants to get paid (and he absolutely should), Paul is a no-brainer.
Cory Joseph got 3/37. Bledsoe got a 4/70 extension. KCP will end up at 46M over 4 years on multiple short deals with LAL. Jordan Clarkson got 4/50. Ben Simmons got 5/170. J.R. Smith got 4/57. John Wall got 4/170. Tristan Thompson got 5/82.— Lucas Hann (@LucasJHann) July 23, 2019
Klutch is the top overpay agency.
More worrying than Trez going to the Lakers (who will assuredly be waiting until the summer of 2021 anyway, and for bigger-name stars like Giannis) is what this means for Trez’s desired price. Steve Ballmer has no hesitancy in paying for a winner, and Trez embodies as much as anyone what it means to be a Clippers player in this new era. However, if he wants something like 4 years, $100 million next summer (don’t laugh), it will be tough for the Clippers to pay him on top of George and Kawhi. Right now, our own Lucas Hann estimates that Trez’s market would be around 4/64. But if he starts making threes this season, and takes another step forward defensively? His next contract could be massive.
Of course, we are a long ways away from next summer. A lot can happen in the interim, for both good and bad. Right now, this doesn’t mean a whole lot. It will, however, be something to keep an eye on next season. And Paul, if nothing else, is dedicated to getting his clients what they want. Hopefully what Trez wants and what the Clippers want will be the same thing, or close enough for a compromise. Harrell is vital to the Clippers’ bench and locker room, and keeping him should be an absolute priority. Hopefully Paul, Montrezl, and the Clippers can make something work.