The Los Angeles Lakers continue to add pieces to their championship roster.
Just one day after the team announced they had traded for the runner-up in the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year Award in Dennis Schröder, the Lakers have upped the ante by signing the winner of the award, Montrezl Harrell.
Harrell spent the last four seasons with the rival Clippers but became a free agent this offseason. He averaged 18.6 points, and 7.1 rebounds off the bench during the 2019-20 season. Harrell’s former teammate, Patrick Beverley was stunned when he heard the news.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Harrell will sign a two-year contract worth more than $19 million with the purple and gold.
Hours before the news of Harrell’s signing was announced, the Lakers also added veteran Wesley Matthews. Matthews helps replace the three-point shooting prowess and defensive intensity left in the wake of Danny Green’s departure to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Meanwhile, the Sixers played the role of spoiler signing former Lakers center Dwight Howard an hour after Howard announced on Twitter he was returning to Los Angeles.
Howard tweeted: “I’m staying right where I belong. Laker nation I love y’all. Purple and gold never gets old.”
Minutes later he deleted the tweet and it was then announced that he was signing with the Sixers instead.
According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Howard believed he had a deal on the table to return to the Lakers for one-year and $3 million.
The Lakers are adamant that it wasn’t a formal offer, but merely a “deal concept.” The Lakers informed Howard’s agent that they had to first consult with team ownership before a formal offer could be made. Howard reportedly waited over an hour before agreeing to sign with the Sixers.
Harrell will now fill the void at the backup center position left by Howard’s departure. Harrell has long been friends with Lakers superstar LeBron James, and both are represented by Rich Paul of Klutch Sports.
Matthews deal is reportedly worth one-year, $3.6 million. That’s slightly more than he would have received had he chosen to remain with the Milwaukee Bucks. Matthews declined a $2.7 million player option with Milwaukee on Wednesday. The 34-year-old averaged 7.2 points and shot 36 percent from beyond the arc last season.
Matthews’ father, Wes Matthews Sr. played from with the Lakers from 1986-88.
Matthews, Harrell, and Schröder are the newest additions to the reigning champions roster, but the team is likely not finished making moves. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope declined his player option, but the Lakers are still interested in re-signing him.
Rajon Rondo is a free agent, but with the addition of Schröder, he’s expected to land with a new team next season. Avery Bradley opted out of his player option and is a free agent, as is Markieff Morris, another veteran the Lakers are interested in bringing back.
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Source: NBC Los Angeles