Report: Al Harrington to play in China next season

Report: Al Harrington to play in China next season
August 10, 2014, 12:00 am
Share This Post
(Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)

We know Al Harrington wants to play basketball next season. Perhaps we just didn't realize he was willing to play outside the NBA.

One report has Harrington, who spent the past season with the Wizards, heading to play in China. Though Washington tweaked its frontcourt rotation this offseason, one open roster spot remains. Rather than sticking around, Harrington, who served as an assistant coach for the Wizards during the Las Vegas Summer League, apparently is heading overseas.

Source: Al Harrington has signed to play in China next season. Announcement to come Monday. Beyond China, still envisions coaching w/ Wiz.

— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) August 10, 2014

Al Harrington's Chinese team will be the Fujian SBS Xunxing Sturgeons. One-year deal.

— Jared Zwerling (@JaredZwerling) August 10, 2014

The veteran forward missed 48 games last season, most due to a knee injury. When active, Harrington gave Washington a Stretch-4 option it otherwise lacked. That void remains heading into the 2014-15 season.

Of course, Harrington, 34 has only played in 44 games the past two seasons. There also won't be many minutes off the bench available barring the unforeseen with free agents Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair joining holdovers Drew Gooden and Kevin Seraphin as backups to Nene and Marcin Gortat. 

Perhaps the Wizards' biggest X-factor last season involved their strong chemistry. When healthy or not, Harrington provided the locker with another experienced voice. Trevor Ariza, also a strong and vocal presence, left for the Houston Rockets. Trevor Booker signed with the Utah Jazz. 

Now, Harrington could still play in the NBA next season. The Chinese Basketball Association does not allow players to opt-out of contracts, but the season typically ends in either mid-February or early March depending on postseason play. Therefore, Harrington could return to Washington for the final weeks of the regular season and beyond.