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Montrezl Harrell was born in Tarboro, North Carolina on January 26, 1994. He attended North Edgecombe High School and played basketball as a power forward before entering the Hargrave Military Academy in Chatham, Virginia. At Hargrave, he averaged 25.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game, while leading the team to an impressive 38-1 record.
After high school, Montrezl Harrell initially committed to play for Virginia Tech under Coach Seth Greenberg. However, after Greenberg was fired, Montrezl Harrell opted to be released from his commitment to play for Virginia Tech. Instead, he chose to play for the University of Louisville.
Montrezl Harrell acted as support for power forward Chane Behanan during his freshman year. Montrezl Harrell averaged 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 16.2 minutes per game during the 2012-2013 season. However, he was at the top of his game near the end of the season as he scored 20 points in the Cardinals’ win over Syracuse in the Big East Conference championship. Subsequently, he ended a successful freshman year by helping Louisville win the 2013 NCAA championship.
After Gorgui Dieng’s option to enter the 2013 NBA Draft, Montrezl Harrell was the subject of recognition during the off-season of his sophomore year. He was considered of of the top returning college players in the country. Montrezl Harrell was selected to the preseason All-America third team by Sporting New for its 2013-2014 college basketball preview issue.
After his sophomore year, Montrezl Harrell decided to continue playing for Louisville instead of entering the NBA Draft. During a December 2014 game against Western Kentucky, Montrezl Harrell was ejected from the game for an altercation that was eventually ruled as a flagrant foul two. He was subsequently suspended from Louisville’s game against California State University at Northridge by the Atlantic Coast Conference.
After the conclusion of his junior year, Montrezl Harrell opted to declare his intent to enter the NBA Draft in 2015. Overall, Montrezl Harrell established himself as a proficient dunk machine that was very active around the rim during his tenure at Louisville.
In June 2015, Montrezl Harrell was picked up by the Houston Rockets as the 32nd overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. During the 2015 NBA Summer League, he averaged 14 points and 6.7 rebounds per night. However, this offer puts the Rockets in a tough financial position as they recently resigned Jason Terry for another one-year contract.
Signing Montrezl Harrell will almost certainly impose a $88.74 hard cap on the Rockets, which will leave virtually no room to make any financial moves for the remainder of the 2015-2016 season. This hard cap was essentially triggered when Houston opted to use their $5.5 million mid-level exception for K.J. McDaniels.
The situation with Harrell will likely get more complex as the Rockets will most likely attempt to negotiate a minimum salary of $507,000. However, Montrezl Harrell's agent, Rich Paul, will likely dissuade Montrezl Harrell from taking so little. If this occurs, the Rockets will have until September 5th to tender an offer, or Houston will lose all negotiating rights and Montrezl Harrell will essentially become a free agent.
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