With All-Star Lakers big man Anthony Davis sidelined through at least the All-Star break, fans may have expected to see more of reigning Sixth Man of the Year Montrezl Harrell soaking up minutes at the power forward and center positions. Instead, his minutes are trending in the opposite direction. Jovan Buha of The Athletic examines why that might be the case.
Harrell had been averaging 24.8 MPG through February 14, but in the intervening eight games, his minutes average has declined to 20.3 minutes. “He can play against big lineups and small lineups,” head coach Frank Vogel said. “I have confidence in Trezz in both of those situations. But there’s situations where sometimes a small lineup might be better than him out there.”
There’s more out of California:
- Current Kings head coach Luke Walton could be the next NBA head coach to be axed. He is currently in the second year of a four-year contract he signed with the Kings. Though local Sacramento broadcasters wondered whether the final year in the deal was a team option, Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee hears that there is no option year. “I feel very connected with [the Kings’ front office] and very locked in as far as where we’re at and where we’re trying to go as a group,” Walton said.
- Lakers reserve guard Alex Caruso was one of the players who rejected an invitation to compete in the dunk contest during the All-Star festivities on March 7 in Atlanta, according to Bill Oram of The Athletic. Knicks rookie Obi Toppin, Pacers shooting guard Cassius Stanley, and Trail Blazers forward Anfernee Simons have been selected for the contest.
- Warriors swingman Kelly Oubre Jr. sprained his left wrist in a team practice yesterday and had to sit out tonight’s contest against the Trail Blazers, according to Nick Friedell of ESPN. The injury is not expected to be a long-term problem, though head coach Steve Kerr indicated that the team did not yet know whether or not it will require an MRI.