Montrezl Harrell has left the NBA's bubble at Disney World to attend to an urgent family matter, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. He plans to return to the bubble at some point during the restarted season, but a timeline has not yet been reported, nor has the exact nature of the emergency. Harrell is the second prominent player to leave the bubble for family reasons after entering the bubble, as New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson also did so on Thursday.
Harrell is an essential element of the Clippers' front-court. Though not a starter, Harrell is a contender for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award after averaging 18.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game off of the bench for the Clippers. He and fellow reserve Lou Williams are one of the NBA's best pick-and-roll duos, and that chemistry has extended to include newcomer Kawhi Leonard, who has been similarly excellent in executing that plan with Harrell as his partner.
Frontcourt depth had been a concern for the Clippers all year. They signed Joakim Noah just before the season went on hiatus to give themselves another option, and now, it appears as though he will need to play a real role early on. Reports indicate that Clippers starting center Ivica Zubac is not currently in the bubble either. Nor is forward Marcus Morris. The Clippers are generally among the NBA's deeper teams, and that depth will now be put to the test.
The Clippers hold a 1.5-game lead over the Denver Nuggets for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. Denver has a number of absences of their own to contend with, though, while the No. 4 seeded Utah Jazz lost Bojan Bogdanovic to an injury before the restart was even announced. No Western Conference contender is at full strength right now. The Disney restart, to an extent, is going to be a war of attrition.