Harrington Leaving Wizards to Affect NBA Futures Odds?

David Lawrence

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 4:55 PM GMT

Al Harrington is no longer with the Washington Wizards. The forward has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Fujian SBS Xunxing Sturgeons in China.

Referencing notes from SB Nation’s Kevin Zimmerman, Harrington averaged double figures in scoring for 11 straight NBA seasons, through his 14th season in the Association. The fire has died out, though. In the last two seasons, Harrington has barely logged half of a season (44 games) with the Orlando Magic and the Wizards. Harrington averaged 6.6 points and 2.4 boards per game last season.

 

What This Means For The Wizards
In the grander scheme of things, this is not a negative development for Washington. It could be positive, but at the least, it’s neutral. Why is this the case? Let’s dive into the numbers for Harrington at this point in his career, which is just about at its natural end.

In the postseason, Harrington averaged 8.4 minutes per game. That’s not much, especially when it dawns upon an NBA bettor that the Wizards and the Indiana Pacers traded big blowouts in their second-round series. The Pacers destroyed Washington in Game 3 of that series, and Washington returned the favor a few days later in Game 5. Harrington’s minutes are really low in light of that piece of information. In those 8.4 minutes per game, Harrington averaged roughly one made basket per game. He didn’t hit a single three-point shot. He averaged 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, averaging what amounted to one-sixth of an actual game in terms of playing time. Playing as a power forward, Harrington averaged fewer minutes on the team in the playoffs than teammates Trevor Booker (16.2 minutes per game) and Drew Gooden (14.6 minutes per game). Neither Booker nor Gooden are especially strong NBA players. Booker is younger and has more upside, but the larger point is that Booker averaged only 6.8 points per game while collecting 21.6 minutes per game during the regular season. Booker was only marginally productive for the Wizards this past season, and in the playoffs, he picked up an average of only 3.3 points per game. He wasn’t very good. Yet, he averaged almost twice as many minutes as Harrington.

You can tell, then, that Harrington just wasn’t very good. He just didn’t give Washington head coach Randy Wittman a realistic chance of keeping him on the court for more playing time. When a player is buried beneath some very average teammates at the same playing position, you know things aren’t going well. Harrington’s career has stagnated, and so it’s good for Washington that it doesn’t have to worry about this veteran any more.

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How To Bet The News
This is a case in which the most complete and honest betting position is to wait and see how Washington restructures its roster around Harrington. They were at 33/1 to win the NBA Championship and that hasn’t changed with Harrington’s departure.

The Wizards have had a fairly positive offseason – even with the loss of Harrington and small forward Trevor Ariza. This team still managed to keep Marcin Gortat and added Paul Pierce, Drew Gooden, DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries. There’s a good supporting cast around the crew of youngsters like John Wall and Bradley Beal, but the reality hasn’t changed for this team: they need Wall and Beal to become an elite one-two punch before they become anything more than Cleveland Cavaliers, playoff fodder in the Eastern Conference.