When Frank Vogel first broached the concept of playing Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell together, the idea seemed farfetched at best and a tad patronizing at worst. The plan was conceived as a countermeasure when Andre Drummond's signing ensured that at least one, if not both, would lose playing time. Vogel was adamant that the Los Angeles Lakers would need all three of their centers for the postseason, but for that plan to work, all three would actually need to play somewhat steadily in the regular season in order to remain conditioned and engaged for the playoffs. It was, in essence, a theoretical way of keeping everybody happy.
But the Lakers struggled to find a matchup in which unveiling the lineup made sense, so a firmer pecking order began to establish itself. In the early going, Drummond started, Harrell came off the bench and Gasol played sparingly. This appeared to be the motivation behind the Drummond signing in the first place. Had the Lakers been satisfied with Gasol, they likely would not have offered his starting job to a free agent, and Harrell, the recipient of the valuable Lakers mid-level exception and a reigning Sixth Man of the Year, was needed for scoring with LeBron James and Anthony Davis out.
But Gasol played too well to be benched, and that plan has largely been scrapped. His playing time increased, and Drummond needed every minute he could get in order to be acclimated for the postseason. So, with few viable alternatives, the Lakers finally decided to give their two-center look a try. Gasol and Harrell never shared the floor in the first 67 Lakers games this season. They've played nine minutes together in back-to-back wins over the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks.