Montrezl Harrell and Dennis Schröder were the top two for the 2019-2020 NBA Sixth Man of the Year award, and when they united as members of the Los Angeles Lakers a year later, they stood together. probably expected to benefit enormously from the other’s presence. Schröder was entering the final season of his contract and a solid year with Harrell would have helped him land a big free agent contract. Harrell, meanwhile, had just thrived as Lou Williams’ pick-and-roll partner with the Clippers. He took a discount to join the Lakers on a one-year contract hoping that success with Schröder as a partner would earn him a bigger salary a year later.
Well… we know what happened. LeBron James and Anthony Davis got injured, which pushed Schröder and Harrell into more important roles than they were able to handle. The Lakers lost in the first round to the Phoenix Suns. Harrell was removed from the rotation at Games 2 and 3 in favor of André Drummond and Marc Gasol. Schröder went scoreless in Game 4. Harrell, knowing no free agency salary awaited him, picked his player option and was distributed to the Washington Wizards. Schröder lacked this self-awareness. He turned down an $ 84 million extension from the Lakers during the season and was forced to take less than $ 6 million from the Boston Celtics. Their brief tenures with the Lakers were disasters.
And on Saturday, they faced each other again as opponents for the first time since their split. Harrell apparently made his feelings about Schröder clear after beating him at the post for an easy layup. The tall Washington man appeared to shout “you are a trash” at his former playmaker as he came back down to the ground.
Both Schröder and Harrell have enjoyed their new surroundings this season. Schröder is averaging more points, rebounds and assists than he did as a Laker, and Harrell is averaging a career-high 19.2 points per game with over 66% shooting for a surprisingly strong Washington team.
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But money reigns supreme among NBA players, and Schröder and Harrell have missed deals in part because of their struggle to adapt to each other. Even if they hadn’t, missing the both-awaited championship with the Lakers also had to sting. It’s no surprise that there is lingering bad blood between the two.