Matthews, a free-agent wing player, signed a one-year and $3.6 million deal with the reigning champs. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported this deal on Friday evening. Right in the midst of losing center Dwight Howard to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers also signed Harrell to a two-year deal. According to agent Rich Paul, Harrell’s deal is for the midlevel exception, where he will make $9.25 million the first year and $9.72 million the second. The second-year is a player option.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 20, 2020
Wesley Matthews and Montrezl Harrell’s Impact on the Los Angeles Lakers
Matthews is a solid role player option for the Lakers to sign. The 34-year old veteran started 67 games with the Milwaukee Bucks and averaged 7.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game last season. He also shot 36.4 percent from the arc before turning down his $2.7 million player option.
However, the Bucks still have Donte DiVincenzo since the Bogdan Bogdanovic sign-and-trade deal fell through on Thursday afternoon. DiVincenzo will take over the shooting guard position, but the Bucks’ wing depth took a hit.
Since the Lakers traded away Danny Green, Matthews is a solid replacement, since he is a reliable defender and three-point shooter with postseason experience. He will help bolster the Lakers’ roster as another key bench piece.
Harrell is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year for a reason: his tenacity and aggressive style of play. He averaged career-highs of 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds with the Los Angeles Clippers last season. He finished tied for fourth in field goal percentage (58 percent) and led the league in double-doubles off the bench with 11. Despite these strong numbers, Harrell has something to prove this season: bouncing back from a poor playoffs performance.
He only averaged 10.5 points and 2.9 rebounds in 18.7 minutes per game during the postseason. However, Harrell has the advantage of playing next to Anthony Davis, whose defensive abilities can help leverage his weaknesses. He also dominates in pick-and-roll scenarios, an area LeBron James thrives in. The Lakers are not done yet, but this is a strong offseason start for the reigning champs.
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