After his lack of production last night as well as his inconsistent performances all season, the first thought that comes to my mind is that we should move him. I still think it's something we should take in to consideration, and I think it's something that has to have crossed the minds of TPTB more than once this season. I played around with the ESPN trade checker a little bit this morning. I was trying to find a realistic deal that made sense for all parties involved.
I pretty much came up with nothing. Other than Golden State, I can't find a team that makes much sense for us to be a trading partner with. Golden State went after Harrington in the off-season, and apparently Harrington wasn't exactly against going there. Right now I keep hearing that J-Rich might be up for grabs. I'd imagine that's probably true with the emergence of Monta Ellis. However J-Rich has been injured pretty often as of late (I believe he's still out now with a broken hand).
The other guy that makes sense for this team [keyword: for this TEAM] is Mike Dunleavy Jr. I'm not a fan of his at all, but I have watched him play a lot. Having a guy with his ball-handling and passing abilities on this team would take a lot of pressure off guys like Tinsley and Sarunas to create shots for the offense. Not to mention Dunleavy is also a decent outside threat as well. Dunleavy would also open up more minutes for Orien Greene to get in the game and play his defensive game without having to worry about running the offense -- Dunleavy can do that [off the bench of course].
On the flip side, Dunleavy's contract sucks. We've spent one too many years over the cap as it is. There's finally relief from that in sight. No need to go out and acquire another 'Croshere' contract. If J-Rich could stay healthy, he'd make perfect sense for us. We could use him extremely bad. But when it comes to injuries, we've been through too much hell to take that risk -- especially on a guy that would be brought in and be expected to be offensive option #2.
That's where I started looking at things differently. Maybe we're just spoiled. As bad as it seems Al has been, I don't think he's been that far off his career numbers. He's even WAY up on his 3-point shooting. However you can't just bring in a player that was option number 1 for a few years somewhere else, and expect them to easily adjust to being option #2.5 ( 2.5 because you can never tell if Harrington is #2 or Jackson is #2). This has got to be the only NBA team I've ever seen aggressively recruit a Free-Agent, bring him in as a predetermined second scoring option, then hardly run a play for him. I think that whole concept is a bit, retarted.
Al Harrington isn't Antawn Jamison. He's not quick off his feet in grabbing rebounds to the point that he can average 20 points just off rebounding (the Golden State Jamison, not Washington's version). Once in a while I see them post up Al, and once in a while I see him make an extremely quick move to the basket for the score before his defender can even get his feet set. That tells me that Harrington can be a strong post man if we utilize him there.
I think in order for Harrington to be more effective, he'd be better suited for the second unit. Granger should start and give us the defense that Harrington lacks. I don't think Harrington is going to become a better player than he is now, but Granger shows a lot of promise to be something special. In addition, we also have Shawne Williams waiting in the wings. If we can get Harrington off the bench, he can play his natural PF position (Center in a smaller lineup), while opening up more minutes for Shawne, and even Rawle Marshall. At that point, we could probably bring in our entire second unit in the game, rest our starters for a while, and probably not miss a beat.
Instead of us looking to trade Harrington, we just need to put him in a role that brings out his strengths, and makes a positive impact on the team. He's averaging 33.5 mpg right now, while Danny is averaging 30 mpg. They could probably average the same numbers they are now, just with different units. I just hope Al can be a team player and accept the role.
That's my proposed solution to the problem....