Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/13/13
Once he made the decision last Saturday that he wanted to join the Wizards veteran free agent forward Al Harrington shared the news with John Wall via text message. “The first thing he said was ‘Help me get to the playoffs’ ” Harrington recalled Wall telling him. Harrington is confident that he can help Wall make the playoffs for the first time in his career — and also end the Wizards’ five-year postseason drought. After a season spent recovering from a staph infection following surgery on his right knee and as a misplaced piece in the Orlando Magic’s rebuilding efforts the 33-year-old Harrington is eager to once again play a significant role on a team that is playing for something. He plans to board a flight to Washington on Tuesday for a physical and eventually sign a one-year deal worth the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million with the Wizards because he believes the franchise is ready to return to respectability. “I’m excited and I feel like this team is definitely going to make the playoffs” Harrington said in a telephone interview late Monday night. “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.” In desperate pursuit of a big man who could stretch the floor and knock down open shots the Wizards quickly pounced on Harrington after the Magic waived him and he cleared waivers. In 15 years in the NBA Harrington has earned a reputation as a reliable reserve capable of erupting for scoring bursts and creating space with his perimeter shooting. Harrington has averaged 13.7 points and shot 35.2 percent from beyond three-point range for Indiana Atlanta Golden State New York Denver and Orlando. He averaged a career-high 20.7 points in 2008-09 with the Knicks but is also coming off his least productive season in more than a decade as Harrington averaged just 5.1 points in 10 games in Orlando.
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