Montrezl Harrell arrives to Wizards unsure of role, but with perspective

Montrezl Harrell‘s best friend is Lou Williams, his former teammate on the Los Angeles Clippers, and Harrell says he learned a lot from his buddy’s career. 

For example: Williams, Harrell said, has never signed a contract for more than $10 million annually in 17 seasons. And he’s never been a consistent starter in the NBA.

But Williams is a three-time Sixth Man of the Year.

“He taught me early on that this game is going to have a lot of ups and a lot of downs,” Harrell said Wednesday, “but just don’t never let it get you too low.” 

Williams’ path helped Harrell keep perspective last year during a challenging season with the Los Angeles Lakers when Harrell, a key free-agent signing months earlier, unexpectedly had his playing time cut after the Lakers added Andre Drummond on a midseason buyout.

The Lakers had three centers in Marc Gasol, Drummond and Harrell (four if you count Anthony Davis) — and while coach Frank Vogel juggled lineups to find the right fit, the situation left hardly any of them satisfied.  

It was a situation that, in all honesty, might prepare Harrell for his time with the Wizards. After the Wizards acquired him in the Russell Westbrook deal, Harrell again lands on a roster that has two other legitimate centers: Daniel Gafford and Thomas Bryant. New coach Wes Unseld Jr. will have to balance minutes for a roster that’s deeper than last…

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