Draft profiles: Montrezl Harrell, 6'8, 250 lbs, PF, Louisville, Junior

Draft profiles: Montrezl Harrell, 6'8, 250 lbs, PF, Louisville, Junior

Athletic Ability

Harrell is near freak-athletically. He offers great verticality to the game, which is one reason why his game might translate to the next level. While Harrell is very athletic, he does struggle not being rugged in his athleticism outside of his hops and straight-line speed.

Harrell is built like a tank, but is three inches short for the NBA power forward position at the minimum. He does possess a great wing-span which will make up for being undersized height-wise, however. He is not fluid or skilled enough to be anything but a power forward at the next level, however, because of his tenacity and ability to rebound (rebounding is the one skill that usually translates at the next level), he should provide something. I guarantee you he would put a body on Tristan Thompson.

Basketball IQ

I think Harrell has improved his basketball smarts, but is still out of control of sorts. Sometimes offensively, he does not have much of a skill-set and tries to make up for it in other ways and sometimes that leads to crazy decisions. Defensively, Harrell, when in control, does a good job of trying to anticipate a play and does take charges.


To me, Harrell’s skill-set consists of being a freak athlete, being relentless, being a rebounder, and sometimes making an occasional jumper. Harrell is not really skilled offensively, but does set hard picks and is not intimidated easily. He can flash to the paint, play in pick-and-rolls, and can finish with authority. Occasionally, Harrell can take someone off the dribble and get a shot with his quickness, shoot a turn-around jumper, or somewhat hit a small mid-range jumper (however, he does not do any of them consistently).

Defensively, Harrell is hard to back down at any capacity because of his build and length. At times, he can switch onto guards because of his quickness. While a good rebounder overall, he still does give up some rebounds because of his size. Also, while he has great tools defensively and hustles to no end, he does not possess the best basketball smarts and can be exposed.


Overall, Harrell has a chance to be Kenneth Faried light. Harrell is a freak athlete that busts his tail on both ends. He can rebound very well and that usually translates at the next level. My big concern is that he is just average in terms of basketball IQ and not very skilled. He will however, be a contributor at the next level due to his athletic ability, hustle, and rebounding.

How does he fit with the Bulls?

To me, Harrell provides toughness that we need. While I am all about drafting the best player available, I don’t know if I can ever see Harrell being more than just a defensive rebounder and enforcer. While he may be the best player available, I would rather take my chances on someone that has more potential at a position of need if available. However, I would not be disappointed in drafting him either if we are planning on getting rid of one of our front-court players. He would provide the toughness we don’t have in the front-court. I would rather have someone such as Delon Wright if available over Harrell, but I would much rather have Harrell over projects such as Christian Wood or Robert Upshaw.


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    The more I read up and watch vids on Harrell, but more I'm impressed with his motor, and athleticism. He reminds me of a young Ben Wallace physically. Whether he can guard massive 7 ftr's like Ben on Shaq remains to be seen.

    The two guys I like most so far is UNLV Christian Wood, and Robert Upshaw.

    Wood is raw but has the complete package when it comes to skillset. He finishes with his left hand as well as his right. He has a nice shooting stroke, can handle the ball, blocks shots, rebounds,and has quick feet and long arms to defend well. The trouble with him is maybe he needs time to develop in the D'league, or under strict coaching before he finds his niche in the NBA. He has to get thicker and stronger too, but that'll come in time.

    Upshaw is a beast! He's also been kicked out of two colleges for violating drug policies. He's DeMarcus Cousins on caffeine drinks. Very immature mentally, and hasn't developed low post offensive moves, but those hands, and his size makes him a top 3 draft pick if it wasn't for his checkered past.

  • In reply to Michael Cunningham:

    Wood has talent, but as you said will need time. I will post my thoughts on Upshaw soon in an article - he has the talent like you said. While physically, Harrell is like Ben Wallace, I don't know if he has the elite basketball IQ like Wallace did.

  • Michael, you nailed it on every point about Harrell, Wood, and Upshaw.

    Consider this about Upshaw:

    1. Last year had a PER of 30
    2. Shot 60% and was an amazing 75% near the basket
    3. Blocked 7 shots per 40 minutes- best in nation
    4. 13.4 rebounds per 40 minutes- fifth best in Draft Express database of 100.
    5.At recent combine had the longest wingspan, highest standing reach and the biggest hands- both in length and width.

    Has well-known history of being kicked-out of two college programs but has admitted mistakes and has recently interviewed well.

    Thid dude is an absolute, no questions asked steal at # 22. In short, a BEAST. But, sorry folks, Pax would never draft him. He is the most tight-assed exec in the NBA. However, can't argue with his success so far in bringing us championships since he replaced Crumbs.

  • Fun fact for today: in the playoffs so far Dwight Howard is 56-137 at the free throw line. Steph Curry is 57-134 from the 3-point line.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    That is an awesome stat!

  • I watched several games with Harrell, and IMO he is a plain old knucklehead. It's one thing to display a brash, borderline crazy demeanor as a pro, but in college..? I honestly think most of his teammates if not Pitino himself were afraid of him. I don't see this guy as being a reliable professional, and I'm not interested in a 6'8 guy who has no offensive skills other then opportunity dunks. He could translate with wingspan and freakish athleticism, but I think more then likely he will disappoint.

  • Kevin,

    I love these profiles. I would like to make one suggestion/request: can you add an intro to them? Every one just jumps right into the fine details of each prospect...it would be nice to have a short intro giving a general idea of the prospect (I only watch the NCAA tournament, so I don't know these guys) to give some context to the details.

    I know there's an overview at the end, but I don't read that first, and often I find myself not understanding why what you're saying is important until I get to it.

  • I would like him but I think it depends on what happens with Taj. We are already pretty stacked at the PF position. But you always have to go BPA no matter what imo. When you draft on potential you end up with a Teague or a Tyrus Thomas. Yea those are extreme scenarios but the same rules apply.

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