I'm standing here in right field ... I guess I should have been in left field so I could have seen Al Harrington coming. Welcome your newest Nugget: Al Harrington. The Nuggets locked Harrington up to a 5-year $33.4 million deal, according to Chris Tomasson of Fanhouse.
The Nuggets, who have yet been able to find the big body they were looking for, switched gears and grabbed the 6'9'' and 250 pound Harrington. Al can score as he averaged 17.7 points last season for the New York Knicks and pulled down 5.6 rebounds. For his career he averages 14.1 ppg and 5.8 rebounds. Last season he shot 43.5% (44.8% career) from the field to go along with 34.2% (35.5%) from downtown and 75.7% (73%) from the foul line.
The former 25th overall pick of the Indiana Pacers will be entering his 13th NBA season and joining his 5th team in the league. He'll turn 31 years-old on February 17th, 2011 and will help the Nuggets usher in more of a small ball lineup as he's likley to start at power-forward alongside Nene at center and Carmelo Anthony at small forward.
Harrington gives the Nuggets another scorer, which the team needed and Denver can now pursue other deals for a defensive presence knowing they have Harrington in the fold.
Credit Denver's front office for pulling this deal off. All the Twitter buzz had Dallas as the front-runner for Harrington, with Orlando's name also getting a little buzz before they inked Quentin Richardson. There was also talk by Chris Tomasson that Denver was leaning towards matching the deal for Linas Kleiza that he signed with the Toronto Raptors, but that is probably a long-shot now.
The Nuggets now have another scoring option with the veteran Harrington in the mix and some additional options with their current roster with the depth added with this signing. The deal has no option seasons, so Harrington will be paid for all five seasons and that had to sweeten the deal for him.
The Nuggets owner is willing to spend and this signing proves to be a step in the right direction.
Photo courtesy of AP Photos Mike Groll