A disagreement over postseason playing time may have contributed to the Los Angeles Clippers' shocking decision to part ways with head coach Doc Rivers.
Although Harrell won the 2019-20 Sixth Man of the Year award, the Clippers owned a minus-30.1 net rating when he shared the court with Paul George and Kawhi Leonard this postseason, Buha notes. However, Los Angeles recorded a team-best 11.1 net rating when Zubac was paired with the two stars.
Clippers' 3-man playoff lineups with George, Leonard
|Lineups||Minutes||Off. Rating||Def. Rating||Net Rating|
(Source: NBA Advanced Stats)
While George and Leonard played 231 minutes with Zubac throughout the playoffs, compared to just 80 with Harrell, Zubac saw just over 14 minutes of action in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Denver Nuggets. Harrell played nearly 26 minutes in the loss.
Some within the Clippers organization reportedly questioned how Rivers failed to notice that Zubac had been the more productive big man during the playoffs. There were supposedly also complaints from inside the locker room that Harrell was only consistently energetic on offense.
Harrell is a pending unrestricted free agent. He's been with the Clippers since 2017 when they acquired him as part of the eight-player swap that sent Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets. The 26-year-old averaged career highs in points (18.6) and rebounds (7.1) in 63 regular-season games this season.