It looked like Al Harrington would fill the Washington Wizards’ 15th and final roster spot, but the organization decided to move on and he’s since signed with the Fujian Sturgeons in China.
Al Harrington has dealt with numerous injuries for the past couple of seasons, and after getting waived by the Orlando Magic, he was signed by the Washington Wizards for the veteran’s minimum this past season. Unfortunately, he was unable to stay healthy with the Wizards and didn’t contribute much on the floor, but he still gave them leadership in the locker room.
The Washington Wizards added Kris Humphries, DeJuan Blair and re-signed Drew Gooden, Kevin Seraphin this summer, so it didn’t make much sense for them to add another big man to their roster. With that said, the Wizards lost two veteran players this off-season in Trevor Ariza and Al Harrington, so that leadership is irreplaceable–as Mike Prada pointed out.
Most NBA teams start the season with 14 players under contract, leaving one roster spot open for flexibility, and I expect the Washington Wizards to do the same. Although Al Harrington won’t be on the roster prior to the start of training camp, if he does perform well in China, the Washington Wizards could opt to sign him after his season is over around February.
Harrington spent time with the Wizards as assistant coach in Las Vegas for Summer League, but he wants to continue playing, and he’s hoping he’ll return to the nation’s capital once his season is over in China.
Playing for the Wizards I think we — I mean, they — had a chance to come out of the East. Maybe when I come back from China I can join them for the rest of the season. That’s where I got my fingers crossed, hoping it’ll happen.
At this point, I really don’t know how much Al Harrington has left to offer on the court, but his leadership off the court is undeniable. Al Harrington grew close with the Wizards this past season, especially with John Wall and Bradley Beal, and there’s no doubt that any team could use his character and personality in the locker room.
Unexpected things happen during the season, but right now the Wizards have enough depth at the front court positions. Nene and Marcin Gortat will continue to start, while Humphries and Blair will likely be the primary back ups, so I’m not sure if Harrington will get the chance to suit up for the Wizards again.
Regardless, Al Harrington will find himself in the NBA again, whether that be on the court or as an assistant.