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Al Harrington to Play in China Next Season

August 10th, 2014 at 12:07 PM
By Matt Graber

Photo credit: Keith Allison / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Free agent forward Al Harrington won't be playing for the Wizards next season after all. Or for any NBA team, for that matter. The veteran forward is taking his talents to China, as Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling reports that the former Wizards will sign with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association.The trend of NBA free agents heading overseas to play is becoming more and more common these days, as Harrington joins Marshon Brooks and The Panda's Friend (the player formerly known as Metta World Peace) as NBA free agents who opted for international play. 

The 34 year old Harrington played in 34 games for the Wizards last year, averaging 6.6 PPG. However, with the Wizards adding Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair to a frontcourt that already included Marcin Gortat, Nene, Drew Gooden and Kevin Seraphin, Harrington would have had a hard time cracking the rotation. Harrington's move overseas is really beneficial to both parties; Harrington gets to continue his playing career and receive actual minutes, and the Wizards keep a roster spot open, avoiding adding a seventh big man who would rarely ever see playing time. The Wizards will likely use some combination of Nene, Drew Gooden and Paul Pierce to replicate Harrington's ability to spread defenses as a stretch 4. 

With Harrington out of the picture, their 15th roster spot, which they seemed to be leaving open for Harrington, is now open. The Wizards have limited cap space, so their best option seems to be seeking out a veteran they can sign for the veteran's minimum to add depth to their backcourt. The team reportedly attended a workout for Harrington's cousin, free agent Dahntay Jones, last week. 

Harrington reportedly has an interest in coaching with the Wizards somewhere down the line after serving as an assistant during the team's Summer League run. A return to the Wizards seems likely down the line, but if Harrington is serous about continuing his playing career, this was a good option for both parties. 

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