The last Clipper not in the bubble, Montrezl Harrell, lost his grandmother a couple nights ago, and Doc Rivers discussed his potential return to Orlando before the Pelicans game yesterday.
Doc’s response is worth quoting in full, because it’s very powerful and heartfelt:
When he’s ready, he’ll come back. You can’t play if you’re not right mentally and because of the emotional part of it. … His grandmother is very tight with him so all I told him is I love him and take your time. We’ll be ready with open arms when you come.
That’s really the perfect answer. Montrezl is grieving right now, as anyone would be, and his closeness with his grandmother makes it all the more difficult. He needs to spend time with his family (or as much as is possible with the COVID restrictions), grieve in peace, and recover mentally. There is no timeline for Trez to return, nor should there be. However, many athletes, when grieving, like to throw themselves into their work, to take their mind off things (think Isaiah Thomas in the 2017 playoffs after losing his sister). It could be the same for Trez. The bottom line is this: when Montrezl Harrell wants to return to Orlando, he will return, and he will have the full support from the Clippers the whole way.
In the meantime, the Clippers are slowly starting to get healthy. Lou Williams should be ready to play either against the Suns, or certainly against the Mavs. While he will miss his pick and roll partner Trez, Lou will be a much-welcome addition to a bench unit that has had shaky firepower (to be charitable) in the first two seeding games. Whenever Lou comes back, Trez will be the last Clipper not in Orlando and with the team.
Our condolences once again to Montrezl Harrell and his family on the loss of his grandmother.