Al Harrington to Washington: Wizards Sign Veteran Forward

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IAugust 14, 2013

Al Harrington was a surprising addition to the NBA free-agent market, but the forward didn’t stay unemployed long as he has signed a new contract with the Washington Wizards.

The team's official Twitter account announced the news:

Unhappy with his situation with the Orlando Magic and willing to take a pay cut to play for a contender, Harrington negotiated a buyout with the club in early August.

The 33-year-old was not claimed on waivers, but immediately afterward, he was pursued (subscription required) by a number of teams around the league seeking his scoring punch and veteran savvy.

Although he participated in just 10 games for the Magic in the 2012-13 season, Harrington should be able to contribute on the Wizards. His inability to get on the floor and perform for Orlando was tied to a staph infection from April of last year.

The big man took to Instagram a couple weeks before joining Washing to proclaim that he is “almost 110 percent back healthy."

The 6’9”, 245-pound vet holds career averages of 13.7 points and 5.7 rebounds, but he put up just 5.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 11.9 minutes per game off the bench last year. He has also hit 35.2 percent of his career attempts from beyond the arc, which speaks to his versatility as a stretch 4. 

Harrington has played for the Indiana Pacers—the team that drafted him No. 25 overall back in 1998—Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets before being traded to the Magic last August.

After being signed, Harrington told Michael Lee of The Washington Post that he feels the Wizards are a playoff-bound team next season—if the team's key players can stay healthy:

I’m excited and I feel like this team is definitely going to make the playoffs. And I don’t care. I’ll go on record saying that. I feel like if this team is healthy, it will be one of the top eight teams in the East, for sure.

With John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter forming a promising nucleus in the nation's capital, Harrington will be tasked with providing veteran leadership and some firepower off the bench. He projects to supplement the young trio of stars and fill Washington's need for another big man along its thin front line.