It's not difficult to locate Montrezl Harrell.
It's not his chiseled 6-foot-7, 250-pound frame that makes him look more like an NFL tight end than Louisville power forward. It's not his unmistakable dreadlocks, either. Rather, the 21-year-old is easy to find as the one winning every 50-50 ball. He's the one fighting for offensive rebounds with multiple efforts. He's the one above the rim finishing an alley-oop with a dunk topped only in ferocity by his boisterous reaction.
The terms "high energy" and "never-ending motor" are usually reserved for fringe prospects who lack in talent and are hoping to find an NBA home based on their effort.
For Harrell, a first-round prospect, it's what he hopes he's ultimately defined as at the next level.
"You can come in and play with high energy and high passion every night (and) it will take you a long way," he said at last week's NBA Draft Combine. "And that’s just what I bring to the table every night. Every time I step on the court, no matter if it’s workouts, no matter if it’s games or practice, I go 110 percent every time because that’s just the way I play."
Harrell also brought production to the Cardinals. In his junior season, a year after winning a national championship, he averaged 15.7 points on 56 percent shooting, 9.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 35.1 minutes per game. He took over the leadership reins left behind by Russ Smith and helped the Cardinals to 27 wins - including 12 in the program's first year in the highly competitive ACC - and an Elite Eight appearance.
It was both another step in role and production for the talented forward. As a freshman he came off the bench behind the talented duo of Gorgui Dieng and Chane Behanan. As a sophomore he entered the starting lineup and played a critical role in the championship season, though he deferred to Smith as the de-facto team leader. But with Smith graduated as Behanan kicked off the team, 2015 was Harrell's chance to shine.
And playing in a conference that touted the eventual national champion in Duke as well as three other teams who finished the season ranked in the top-20, it was Harrell who led the way. He showed off an improved mid-range game in his final two seasons, was a monster on the offensive glass and, more importantly, set the tone for his teammates with his high-energy attitude.
"He brings high energy," said Louisville guard Terry Rozier. "You love that about him. There were a lot of games this year where you just felt down, but his high energy impacts the whole game and makes you play harder."
It's why he'll hear his name called as early as the lottery on June 25 - Rotoworld's Ed Issacson currently has Harrell slated to go No. 19 to Washington. Though he may not tout the same upside as those younger players slotted in the mid teens like a Kevon Looney or a Myles Turner, his floor is considerably higher.
His undersized height - he's a bit of a tweener at 6-foot-8 who will need to play in the post - there's no substitute for his rebounding instincts and high energy. At worst he's a second unit spark plug; at best he becomes Kenneth Faried, a comparison he both respects and called "a great compliment."
The Bulls could entertain the idea of selecting Harrell if there isn't a player they feel best suits their immediate needs, notably point guard and center on the second unit. Gar Forman will look to replace Nazr Mohammed, while the near futures of both Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah leave some mystery. Though they have assumed foundations in Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson, adding a piece like Harrell to help with a team that struggled mightily on the defensive glass this past season would be beneficial.
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Whether it's the Bulls or another team looking to shore up its frontline, Harrell's message for NBA organizations is a simple one.
"They’re never going to have to worry about thinking I’m not coming to work every day, because I am," Harrell said. "I’m coming in from Day 1 to put not only myself in the best situation, but put our team in the best situation to be successful."