Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell was awarded the 6th Man of the Year Award on Friday.
Harrell embraces the 6th man role to its fullest extent, as he only started 2 out of the 63 games he appeared in this season. Out of the 318 career games he has appeared in, he has only started 25 of them.
While there were many worthy candidates, Harrell was definitely amongst the most deserving. The 5th year man out of Louisville increased his points and rebounds per game average from last year. He finished the regular season averaging 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.
Harrell beat out Thunder guard Denis Schroder as well as fellow Clipper Lou Williams for the award. Schroder and Williams finished 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Other players that received votes were Detroit big man Christian Wood and Milwaukee guard George Hill.
Harrell has been invaluable for this team throughout the regular season and playoffs; he has developed outstanding chemistry with Williams in the pick and roll and is a presence on defense.
Harrell has a high motor, as he runs the floor hard in transition, and his thunderous slams can quickly change the momentum of the game. While he’s undersized, he plays tough defense against opposing centers. He has a good amount of success, as he was top-20 in the NBA in block percentage this past season.
The Clippers have dominated this award for the past few years. Many fans were quick to note the trend. Every player who has won the award in the last seven years has had some affiliation with the Clippers.
The Clippers’ remarkable run and Harrell’s success this year is a testament to the bench unit. While the team this year is headlined by superstars Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, their bench is a big reason why they’re potential championship contenders. Harrell, Williams, Reggie Jackson, Landry Shamet, and Jamychal Green coming off the bench provide the Clippers with the ability to make a difference and take advantage of weaker second units.
Harrell is currently in the final year of a two year, 12 million dollar deal that he signed back in 2018. He will become an unrestricted free agent this coming offseason. If he continues to improve, the Clippers will have to offer him a better deal exceeding his current salary if they want to retain him.