It’s been over a month since the NBA free agency period kicked off, and the Washington Wizards may still be on their quest for a stretch 4. With 14 of their 15 roster spots already filled before the start of training camp, the Wizards might not have too many options left this off-season. Without much cap room, Washington is only able to offer the veterans minimum (worth roughly around $1.3 million) or explore possible sign-and-trade scenarios, like they tried with DeJuan Blair, to acquire more talent through free-agency.
With that said, there aren’t too many players in the free agent pool that would be willing to sign for such a small amount of money to a non-contending team. Al Harrington, a stretch forward who seems like a perfect fit in the nation’s capital, was recently waived by the Orlando Magic. Aside from the various injuries which sidelined him for the majority of this past season, Harrington seems to be a fit with the Wizards. Shooting over 35% from three point territory during the course of his 15-year NBA career, Harrington would bring the outside shooting and veteran leadership Washington is still looking to add to their roster.
After learning about his release from the team, Harrington spoke about his possible opportunities in the NBA going forward;
I think to accomplish what I’m trying to accomplish, proving that I can still play and help, I’ve got to go to a situation where I’m going to play…I don’t mind competing for minutes, but I at least need to know that I’ll at least have an opportunity to play. And I really want to win. I want to play on a team that’s playoff-ready, playoff-bound, and we can go out and try to shock the world.
Harrington has reportedly expressed interest in playing for a championship contending team, but the quotes above don’t necessarily suggest that. Washington seems to be a playoff-ready basketball team with a lot of competition for minutes on their second unit. If Harrington could remain healthy, you’d have to think he’d become a major contributor off the bench, even at 33 years old. As I noted before, Harrington hasn’t been able to remain healthy since the 2010-2011 NBA season where he played 73 games. When Harrington was healthy, he shot the ball fairly well from the outside and would only increase his percentages when paired up with a passing guard like John Wall.
(Shot chart above is from the 2010-2011 NBA season. Harrington played through the majority of the season and the sample size is large enough to draw conclusions)
Though it seems like Harrington could fit in Washington, his interest in playing for the Wizards is unknown. Would he be willing to take veterans minimum to play for the Wizards? Is Ernie Grunfeld interested in filling another roster spot without shedding some space beforehand? It seems unlikely, but it’s certainly something to ponder about.
Let me know if you’re interested in Al Harrington in the comments section.