ESPN’s Marc Stein reported late last night that the Wizards are on Al Harrington’s radar as a potential landing spot. The veteran stretch 4 was released by the Orlando Magic earlier this month and is one of the top available free agents.
As is the case with most Wizards’ transactions, the signing of Harrington wouldn’t be without a little baggage. At age 33, Harrington claims to be “almost 110% healthy” after he contracted a staph infection following a repaired torn meniscus in his right knee back in April 2012. Consequently, Harrington played just 10 games for the Magic last season, after ranking as one of the top sixth men with the Nuggets the season prior.
If his health does not remain a concern, the acquisition of Harrington could be beneficial in a number of ways for the Wiz Kids. His presence would certainly beef up the front court and give the Wizards an additional scoring punch on offense. Here are a few other things Al could offer:
- He is definitely a shooter, typically from the corner 3, and can shoot efficiently in a variety of ways – off of a screen, spot up, or off the dribble.
- What I personally like about Harrington is his mobility despite his size. At 6’9, Harrington is a superb dribbler for his height and can move his feet well, often allowing him to beat his defender dribbling towards the basket.
- Although Harrington doesn’t utilize much of a post game, he’s pretty effective when he does. His size naturally draws double teams and he’s got good enough passing skills to avoid the trap.
- His ability to stretch the floor out to the 3-point line would clear up a lot of the Wizards’ spacing issues and allow more operating room down low for Nene and Emeka Okafor.
- I mentioned before his knack for the corner 3, and of course we all know how John Wall will feel about that.
- Al will be entering his 15th season in the league and will be playing for his seventh franchise, which will help fulfill Washington’s need for veteran leadership and an experienced locker room presence.
If signed, Harrington will become Washington’s 15th and final guaranteed contract. That fact considered, it could very likely pave the way for a future trade of one (or two) of the younger big men. But the immediate concern for us now will be how Harrington endures and progresses through training camp, and certainly how well — or possibly not well — his presence bodes for the Wizards.