Clippers Getting Rid Of Montrezl Harrell, Lou Williams And Reggie Jackson?
The Los Angeles Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs by the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night. It was a shocking development, given that most had already penciled LA in for a Western Conference Finals berth.
Losing to Denver was bad enough, but the fashion in which the Clippers fell was even worse.
They not only choked away a 3-1 series advantage – they also gave up consecutive 15-point leads in Games 5 and 6.
After Game 7, there were a lot of excuses offered up by Clippers personnel for their joint failure.
Doc Rivers blamed the bubble and conditioning. Paul George cited a lack of chemistry. Kawhi Leonard indicated that the team needed to get smarter.
All those things are inevitably true to some degree, but the players also played a role.
On Wednesday, Kendrick Perkins appeared on ESPN and highlighted that very fact.
“The Clippers are going to break this up,” he said on The Jump.
“Whether you like it or not, I heard from an inside source, they are going to break this up.”
According to Perkins, the Clippers will take a sledgehammer to their bench in an effort to improve.
“The bench,” he continued.
“Reggie Jackson gotta go, Montrezl Harrell gotta go, and Lou Will gotta go. None of those guys provided the production that the Clippers needed.”
While the prospect of getting rid of Harrell and Williams seems nuts on its face, given that they are the two most recent winners of the NBA’s 6th Man of the Year Award, there is some logic in the idea of getting rid of at least one of them.
Harrell is an unrestricted free agent this year, as is Jackson. Williams is owed $8 million next year, and then he becomes a free agent as well.
Over the course of the regular season, Harrell averaged 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. In the playoffs, those numbers turned into 10.5 points and 2.9 rebounds.
Something similar happened with Williams. In the regular season, he averaged 18.2 points and 5.6 assists per outing. In the playoffs, that turned into 12.8 points and 4.2 assists.
The Clippers’ bench let them down as much as anything else in the postseason.
What a disaster. https://t.co/rRLthQrxQv
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 16, 2020
It is easy to dismiss Perkins’ message because he has proven to be a polarizing character in the past, but his larger point is not irrelevant.
Perkins also appeared on First Take Wednesday morning to discuss Leonard’s decision to leave the Toronto Raptors for LA.
“It was a tragedy,” he said.
“You know why? Because the man Kawhi, not only did he have an organization, a city, but he had a country in his hands in Canada. They wanted to give him the world. He had a great supporting cast.
“You talkin’ ’bout he joined a team that was the number one seed when he joined Toronto when he was traded from the Spurs. He had everything he wanted in Toronto. He chose to leave Kyle Lowry, a guy that had been to multiple Conference Finals.”
The Clippers have a lot of work to do this offseason, and limited ways in which to do it. Will it involve getting rid of a couple of bench guys, like Perkins suggests? Time will tell.
But what is clear that is that something needs to be done.
If things don’t improve, and quickly, the Clippers could end up going down in history as the most disappointing “super team” of all time.