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Montrezl Harrell was a better option at center


The Los Angeles Clippers lost the last piece of Lob City, DeAndre Jordan, this offseason. However, new starting center Montrezl Harrell will be an upgrade.

The Los Angeles Clippers kissed the last member of Lob City goodbye this summer. Center DeAndre Jordan decided not to opt into the last year of his contract with the Clippers and instead agreed to a one-year, $22.89 million deal with the Dallas Mavericks.

Not only did Jordan opt out of his deal with Los Angeles, he actually took a pay cut just over $1 million to sign with a different team.

It is fitting that the last standing member of Lob City left to the team that nearly snagged him away from that core three years ago. It also opened the door at center for the Los Angeles Clippers.

The early favorite for the starting center job was Boban Marjanovic. Marjanovic is a seven-footer that has become a bit of a cult icon. While he is a fan favorite, Marjanovic averaged 6.0 points and 3.7 assists per game in 8.6 minutes played per game last year.

Marjanovic will certainly see more playing time with Jordan out of the picture, however, he will not be the starting center. Instead, that job should go to Montrezl Harrell a fourth-year big man that signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Clippers.

Harrell does not have the typical center size, something that Marjanovic definitely has. However, Harrell proved in the time he was allotted last season that he really could be a great starting center in the NBA.

Harrell averaged 11.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game in just 17 minutes played. Although he does not have the stature of Jordan, he was very similar production-wise last season.

Jordan is notorious for his field goal percentage as the finisher of lobs and dunks, he holds the NBA record for field goal percentage in a single season. While Harrell’s 63.5 percent shooting was not quite that, it was only one percent lower than Jordan’s last season.

In fact, Harrell is going to be a much better scorer than Jordan was despite lacking the size. If Harrell continues to be this efficient, with the same minutes Jordan played last year, his scoring should float somewhere around 17 and 19 points per game.

The rebounds will come, they will not be as frequent as they were with Jordan but the team has Marjanovic to rely on off the bench to serve as the glass cleaner.

Overall, Harrell is set to be at least as good as Jordan was last season for one-quarter of the price.

Next: Clippers backcourt will be among the best in the NBA

With Harrell now taking the starting job, the Los Angeles Clippers should be happy that the team did not have to pay four times the price for very similar production.

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