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For this article we will be avoiding players who are currently on their rookie contracts. Rookie contracts can be an unfair point from which to compare veterans. For example a player of Kristaps Porzingis’ stature is currently earning less than 6 million dollars. If we were to compare this to Lou Willliams who is under one of the best contracts in the league it would still be hard to give proper perspective on Lou’s contract. Also for most of this article we will be trying to account for the player’s guaranteed part of their contract.

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This article originally came into mind seeing how during the summer some people doubted whether committing 6 million dollars to Montrezl next season; when we will be chasing after superstar free agents was a good idea. With those disclaimers in place let’s get into this.

Montrezl Harrell

12 Million over 2 Years

All Stats taken as of November 19 2018 before games

Players with Similar Contracts:

Al Farouq Aminu(6.9million/1yr)   Ish Smith(6million/1yr)

Marco Belinelli(12million/2yrs)   Wayne Ellington (6.3million/1yr)

Nemanja  Bjelica(13.3million/2yr)

Out of this group of players Montrezl is currently the youngest at 25 years old, the average age for the other players is 30 years old. This could be an indicator for starters that Montrezl is actually on a contract that benefits the Clippers a lot. A player of his age and his production would usually be earning a lot more compared to older veteran role players. The one area where Trezz is lacking in comparison to this group of players is perimeter shooting, which is not part of Montrezl’s job description at all. None of the aforementioned players come close to Harrell in terms of rim protection either who is averaging 1.8 blocks per game. Comparing him to mostly perimeter players when it comes to blocks is also mostly unfair, yet in advanced stats Trezz is also outperforming this group defensively. Trezz’s current Defensive Box Plus/Minus is currently a +3.8 the nearest player to him in this group is Aminu with a +1.5 and Ellington posting a group worst of -1.9. Trying to find any angles where these players outperform Harrell is quite difficult.

One area where Montrezl is the worst of the bunch is FT% with a 67.1%. With that being said, none of these players are drawing nearly as many free throws as Harrell’s 5.3 per game. Belinelli and Aminu follow this with 1.9 attempts per game and Ish Smith posting a low of 0.5 attempts per game. It would be quite safe to assume after reading all this that Harrell must be leading this group in minutes, yet when we actually look over he is fourth with 23.8 minutes per game. The actual leader in minutes per game is Aminu with 29.8 and even Bellinelli, the bottom player in this stat with 22.5 mpg, isn’t playing significantly less than Montrezl. After all of this it is quite safe to assume that Montrezl is outplaying his contract by a fair margin. Now let’s try to find players who are having similar statistical seasons and see what they are earning.

Statistical Comparisons

So far this season Harrell is averaging 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.8 blocks in 23.8 minutes per game. His shooting splits are at 68% from the field and 67.1% from the free throw line.

For starters we are going to try to find players who fit into a similar production as Harrell. If we try to find players who are posting at least 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 block in under 30 minutes of play our results are narrowed down to three players in the entire league including Harrell. The first result we get is Raptors forward Serge Ibaka at 17.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.4 blocks in 26.8 minutes a night. Ibaka is currently putting up these stats with a 56.6% from the field, 32.5% from three, and 76.1% from the charity stripe. For this stat line Ibaka will be making 20 million dollars in the 2018-19 NBA season compared to Harrell’s 6 million. Our second result is Portland center Jusuf Nurkic at 15.4 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.2 blocks in 25.8 minutes a game. Harrell and Nurkic also share being 24 years old in comparison to Ibaka being 29. Nurkic’s percentages for this season are 52.3% from the field, 12.5% from three, and 80% at the free throw line. The three point percentage should not be taken too heavily seeing as he only attempts one three per game. Nurkic will be making 11,111,111 dollars this season , which also seems like a very good contract for Portland.

With all this in mind we can notice Montrezl clearly has an edge when it comes to field goal percentage. Ibaka certainly brings some extra value seeing how he can space the floor, yet this value probably doesn’t account for him making 333% of Harrell’s contract. Nurkic certainly has an edge over Harrell in the rebounding department , which is unsurprising considering the height difference of 4 or 5 inches. In spite of this Trezz does have a slight defensive edge on Nurkic averaging more blocks and steals while also having a +3.8 Defensive Box Plus/Minus compared to Nurkic’s +3.1.

All in all, it would be unfair to discredit either Harrell or Nurkic for their performances in comparison to their contracts. It would also be unfair to judge either the Clippers or Blazers front office for the contracts they gave these two. Yet Harrell is making around 55% of Nurkic’s contract for the season and at this point it’s becoming fairly clear how much of a bargain his contract truly is. Luckily enough for the Clippers at least for one more season Harrell’s price tag will not be rising.

In conclusion…

Now that we have taken a look at both comparisons of players on similar contracts and players with similar production, we can bring the reactions and opinions. One factor that was left out for most of the article to try to look at the numbers was hustle and passion. Thinking that the player who is under the smallest contract between his comparisons is unequivocally the one playing with the most heart speaks a lot to the type of player Montrezl is. This contract is most definitely up there with Lou Williams’s and Josh Richardson’s for one of the NBA’s biggest bargains. This shows both how underrated Harrell is as a player and the great job the front office did when re-signing him. As a Clippers fan this hopefully also could be a sign for the future that Montrezl both wants to win and is happy to play for the Clippers. Perhaps in the future if the Clippers are to become a championship caliber team Montrezl will be the type of guy willing to negotiate his contract to keep a winning core together, but if Trezz wants to go after the money elsewhere it would also be fair to say he earned every cent.


Photos: @LAClippers
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