Washington Wizards sign Al Harrington

Al Harrington, pictured with the Nuggets in 2012. (Associated Press)
Al Harrington, pictured with the Nuggets in 2012. (Associated Press)

The Washington Wizards announced Wednesday that they have signed free agent forward Al Harrington. Terms of the deal were not announced, but it’s expected to be for one year and $1.4 million, the veterans’ minimum.

“Al’s all-around game and reputation as a leader make him a solid fit with our team,” Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said in a statement.  “He will give us additional depth and experience in the frontcourt, the ability to stretch defenses and another proven veteran in the locker room.”

Point guard John Wall and Coach Randy Wittman have long sought a power forward who can stretch the floor from the perimeter, and that Harrington fits the bill. He has averaged 13.7 points and shot 35.2 percent from beyond three-point range over his career.

Harrington, 33, has played 15 NBA seasons with Indiana, Atlanta, Golden State, New York, Denver and Orlando. He appeared in just 10 games for the Magic last season as he recovered from a staph infection following surgery on his right knee for a torn meniscus.

“I’m playing with no brace. I don’t have a brace, a sleeve or nothing,” Harrington told The Post’s Michael Lee earlier this week. “Some doctors said I might not be able to play again. I proved them wrong. I’m going to keep pushing forward.”

Harrington, who has been training with Joe Abunassar at the Impact Academy in Las Vegas, added that he’s at the point where he’s not worried about a recurrence of the injury.

“For me, I would say, over the last three weeks I started to regain my confidence in my leg to where I was just playing without thinking about it. So I would say It just took some time,” Harrington said. “The biggest thing is just getting back out there on the court, playing with your peers, being able to compete with them. Those few times I would be free but I’d just be scared to take off my leg. But I’m finally attacked that fear and it’s showing by the way I’m playing.”

Harrington also told Lee that he’s confident in the team’s direction, saying “this team is definitely going to make the playoffs.

After spending the first 17 years of his Post career writing and editing, Matt and the printed paper had an amicable divorce in 2014. He's now blogging and editing for the Early Lead and the Post's other Web-based products.
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Michael Lee · August 13, 2013

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