Basic Stats: 6.6 PPG, .8 APG, 2.4 RPG, .40 FG%
After signing with the Washington Wizards as a free agent, journeyman forward Al Harrington brought with him a sense of leadership and direction as the season progressed. Averaging 15 minutes per game, Harrington and the rest of the AARP Lineup, which included Andre Miller and Drew Gooden, were able to give the starters some much-needed rest so they could have more energy later in the game.
The main reason the Wizards brought in Harrington was his ability to stretch the floor. His ability to make threes has been his calling card throughout his NBA career. This season, Harrington shot over 34% from behind the arc which was his best percentage since 2010.
(Al Harrington’s shot chart–via NBA.com)
What made Harrington so vital to this Wizards team was his ability to step up in the NBA Playoffs. In Game 4 especially, Harrington showed the Phone Booth why the Wizards went after him. He scored 11 points and 6 rebounds off-the-bench, but brought energy and enthusiasm to a stadium that was on life support after a horrendous Game 3. Even though the Wizards eventually lost, Harrington gave it his all and was one of the main reasons the Wizards were able to keep the game close.
At the end of the season, Harrington proved to the Wizards that they made a smart purchase in signing him. He was one of the leaders of the team and brought a sense of entitlement to the team, as they fought hard in every playoff game and weren’t just happy to be there. Even though Harrington did deal with numerous injuries throughout the course of the season, his presence in the locker room was tremendous. If Harrington’s last NBA season was with the Wizards, I’m sure he’ll find a way to remain in the league, whether that be in the front office or coaching staff.
Next Season and Improvement:
Washington only signed Al Harrington to a one-year contract at 1.4 million so if Harrington wants to stay in DC, the Wizards will have to seek him out in free agency. The Wizards have their plates full this offseason as they have to re-sign Marcin Gortat and Trevor Ariza. Due to all this spending, the team may not have enough money to pay Al Harrington or they may just want to replace him with a younger player. His age might be the deciding factor for the Wizards because one key for them is to skew younger with so many players closing in on retirement. Also, Otto Porter, last season’s first round draft pick will be looking to make a bigger contribution next year whilst playing the same position as Harrington.
Final Grade: B
Gus Johnson Alert
By law, every article about Al Harrington must have this clip of Gus Johnson yelling about Harrington.