Al Harrington

And-Ones: De Colo, Okafor, Shumpert, Wright

French guard Nando De Colo has enjoyed some of the best seasons of his playing career in recent years, including earning EuroLeague MVP honors for CSKA Moscow in 2016. However, while De Colo is happy to continue playing in Europe and is concentrating on that for the time being, he admits that he hasn’t closed the door on the possibility of an NBA return.

De Colo spent two seasons with the Spurs and Raptors from 2013 to 2015, but never got to play a significant role during his first stint in the NBA, as he tells Spanish media outlet Farhampton Magazine (link via TalkBasket.net).

“The truth is that going to San Antonio was a somewhat complicated decision because I knew I could continue in Europe,” De Colo said. “I had contacts with Barcelona, for example. On the other hand, I wanted to go to the NBA and see how it was. In the Spurs, I didn’t have the opportunities I expected. I think that is a part of life that you can’t control.”

At age 30, De Colo still has time to return to the NBA, but given his starring role for CSKA, it’d be no surprise if he decided to remain overseas to finish his career.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • The Timberwolves don’t have any interest in Jahlil Okafor, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link). Okafor, who had his 2018/19 turned down by the Sixers, remains on the trade block and may even end up seeking a buyout.
  • Cavaliers swingman Iman Shumpert will be sidelined for at least the next five to seven days due to knee soreness, the team announced today in a press release. Shumpert, the subject of trade rumors throughout the offseason, is averaging a career-low 18.2 minutes per contest early this season for Cleveland.
  • Longtime NBA forward Dorell Wright, who appeared in 549 regular season games over the course of 11 NBA seasons, has signed in Germany with Brose Bamberg, the team recently announced (via Twitter). Wright last played in the NBA for Portland during the 2014/15 season.
  • Former NBA forward Al Harrington has taken an unusual career path since his days as a player ended, having gotten into the medical marijuana business. David Aldridge of NBA.com has an interesting and in-depth look at Harrington, who wants to encourage the NBA to consider the benefits of medical marijuana.

And-Ones: Fisher, Vaulet, Rasheed, Huestis

Derek Fisher admits to feeling more comfort as a coach this season, though Knicks team president Phil Jackson hasn’t been working more closely with Fisher, as Jackson said before the season that he would. Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News has the details.

“Maybe a couple times earlier in training camp, we had some kind of sat down and talked about some things visually at the same time. So far, it’s our typical mornings-after-the-game conversations or email exchanges,” Fisher said. “Sometimes before practice we’ll visit for a few minutes. But not really any hardcore film sessions together. Although when those opportunities do present themselves, I’ll definitely be happy to participate.”

The Knicks are 6-6, a significant improvement on last season’s 17-65 mark, though Fisher cautions that .500 isn’t the team’s goal. See more from around the NBA:

  • Draft-and-stash prospect Juan Vaulet is pleased that the Nets own his NBA rights, citing the way team doctors cared for the stress fracture in his leg, as he said in an interview with ESPN Argentina earlier this month (YouTube link), as NetsDaily relays. Still, the 6’6″, 19-year-old Argentian, who fashions himself a point guard, believes he’s a ways off from signing to play in the NBA.
  • Rasheed Wallace, Al Harrington and Keyon Dooling are among the 60 players who’ve so far committed to The Champions League, an upstart minor league circuit with plans to play in the summers beginning in 2016, USA Today’s Sam Amick reports. The league intends to pay annual player salaries that average around $200K, league chairman and CEO Carl George told Amick.
  • The Thunder have assigned Josh Huestis to the D-League, the team announced via press release. It’s the second trip to the D-League this season for the small forward, who averaged just 7.0 points in 28.4 minutes per game across two appearances in his first D-League stint this year.

And-Ones: Paul, Agent Changes, Leonard

Chris Paul rejects the notion that he’s a poor teammate, an idea that rumors of a rift between Paul and DeAndre Jordan helped fuel this summer, writes Dan Woike of the Orange County Register. Jordan has downplayed any tension, citing a mutual desire to win, and that’s just what Paul is thinking about as he envisions playing the rest of his career with the Clippers, as Woike details.

“Hell, I never imagined I’d leave New Orleans, but there’s no question this is where I want to be,” Paul said to Woike. “I want to win. Here.”

The earliest Paul can elect free agency is the summer of 2017. See more from around the NBA:

  • Agent Michael Tellem, the son of former agent turned Pistons organization executive Arn Tellem, is leaving the Wasserman Media Group for the Creative Artists Agency and taking high-profile client Danilo Gallinari with him, reports international journalist David Pick (Twitter link). Mario Hezonja, Bojan Bogdanovic and Nemanja Bjelica have dropped Tellem and will continue with Wasserman, Pick adds (on Twitter). The loss of Arn Tellem has proven tough for Wasserman, which also lost Al Horford, LaMarcus Aldridge and Joe Johnson over the offseason. Gallinari, Hezonja and Bjelica all signed new deals earlier this summer, while Bogdanovic remains on a deal with the Nets that runs through 2016/17.
  • Extension talks between the Trail Blazers and Meyers Leonard are off to a late start, but Leonard’s preference is to stay in Portland, observes Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. The deadline for the sides to reach a deal is Monday. “I really, really like and love this city,” Leonard said. “I love the organization and now that a greater opportunity has presented itself, I think a lot more people are embracing me. I’d love to be here. That’s my hope. But I don’t know if I’ll get an extension. I don’t know what will happen after this year. We’ll have to wait and see.”
  • Al Harrington said in March that he was retiring, but instead the 16-year NBA veteran is joining the Sydney Kings of Australia on a four-week deal, league sources told Olgun Uluc of Fox Sports Australia.

And-Ones: Porzingis, Pistons, Harrington

Kristaps Porzingis has gained 11 pounds so far this summer after Knicks president Phil Jackson expressed concern over the rookie’s frame last month, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Jackson previously told ESPN.com’s Charley Rosen that he was concerned Porzingis may have trouble putting on enough muscle to play in the low post. Porzingis has shown a strong work ethic in trying to alleviate those concerns, Berman adds after speaking with Audie Norris, who coached Porzingis last season in Spain.

In other news around the league:

  • Eric Griffin, who reportedly agreed to a deal with the Pistons, expects to see some minutes in Detroit, Seth Ferranti of Slamonline.com writes. It won’t be easy for the 25-year-old to remain on the roster for the beginning of the regular season, however. Detroit currently has 18 players on its roster aside from Griffin.
  • Croatia’s Dragan Bender is the most highly-touted international player in the 2016 draft class, according to Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders. The 7’1” power forward has a nice mix of back-to-the-basket moves and outside range and could be a top five pick, Brigham continues. Bender is expected to play in a battle of Euroleague powers in two exhibition games on American soil next month. Shooting guard Furkan Korkmaz of Turkey could also be a lottery pick, according to Brigham, who writes that Korkmaz plays with a swagger and can shoot from virtually anywhere on the floor.
  • Longtime NBA power forward Al Harrington is still looking for work as a coach, J. Michael of the Wizards Insider reports. Harrington had a brief stint with the Nuggets late last season, serving under interim coach Melvin Hunt, but was not retained when Michael Malone was hired as head coach. Harrington last played in the NBA with the Wizards two seasons ago.

Dana Gauruder contributed to this report.

Al Harrington Retires

After 16 years in the NBA, Al Harrington has officially retired from basketball, as he revealed to Christopher Dempsey of the Denver Post this afternoon. The 35-year-old big man signed a deal last August to play in China, where he was putting up monster numbers before he returned stateside amid NBA interest, including reported consideration by the Rockets. However, Harrington told Dempsey that none of the opportunities in the US appealed to him, and he now feels the timing is right to leave his playing days behind.

I’m very happy with what I was able to accomplish,” Harrington said. “I was able to change a lot of people’s lives in my family, including myself in a game that I eventually fell in love with and will always be in love with. And hopefully I can stay around the game until I die. It was a fun ride. It went by fast, too. It was like one minute I was 18, the next I was 25 then was 30 and now I’m 35. It was a fun run. Met a lot of great people.

Harrington was selected straight out of high school with the 25th pick of the 1998 draft. He played for seven different teams in his career, most recently donning a Wizards jersey during the 2013/14 campaign. While he never made an All-Star appearance, Harrington averaged a respectable 13.5 points per contest over 981 games played. His best year came when he posted impressive nightly marks of 20.1 points and 6.2 rebounds for the Knicks in 2008/09.

Although his playing days are over, Harrington still has interest in either coaching or working in a front office, relays Dempsey, who adds that Harrington will assist the Nuggets coaching staff for the rest of the season and help the club prepare for the draft this June. Harrington accumulated $85,514,819 in salary over the course of his career, according to his player page on Basketball-Reference.com.

Western Notes: Wolves, Carter, Harrington

Wolves president Flip Saunders said the team is still considering filing for a hardship exception which would allow Minnesota to temporarily add a 16th player to their roster, Andy Greder of The St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. The franchise has lost the services of Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Nikola Pekovic, and Ronny Turiaf to injuries. Martin is out six to eight weeks after having wrist surgery, and Rubio isn’t likely to return until January at the earliest after injuring his ankle. Both Pekovic and Turiaf will both be reevaluated next week, Greder adds in a separate tweet.

Here’s more from out west:

  • After meeting with head coach Dave Joerger and his staff during the free agent signing period this summer, Vince Carter knew playing with the Grizzlies was the right choice, Jabari Young of CSNNW.com writes. “I like playing with guys who want to win,” Carter said. “At this point in my career, that’s what it’s about. I met with the coaching staff and ownership and you can just see the direction they were trying to go in – just winning – and I felt like I can bring a presence on and off the court and that’s what I’m looking for. I know this was a great opportunity for both sides and it worked out.”
  • Carter was also asked if the Blazers reached out to him during the summer, and he replied, “I never really heard from them. They’re established, man. They are going to be fine. I don’t think they needed my services.”
  • Despite reports that the Rockets are interested in signing Al Harrington, Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle tweets that Harrington isn’t likely to end up in Houston. Harrington had recently left his Chinese team because of apparent interest from NBA clubs

Rockets Show Interest In Al Harrington

The Rockets are thinking about signing power forward Al Harrington, who just left his Chinese team because of apparent interest from NBA clubs, reports Yannis Koutroupis of Basketball Insiders. Houston has a full 15-man roster, so the team would have to make a corresponding move if it were to add Harrington.

The 34-year-old veteran of 16 seasons is a sharpshooting power forward who would seemingly fit well within Houston’s perimeter-oriented offense. He’s a 35.2% shooter from three-point range for his career, and he knocked down the long ball with 34.0% accuracy in 34 games last season with the Wizards. He expressed hope that he would re-sign with Washington once he returned from China, where he had been averaging 32.8 points per game for the Fujian Sturgeons, but it’s unclear if the Wizards are willing to consider him at this point.

Terrence Jones, Houston’s starting power forward, is out indefinitely with a peroneal nerve contusion, which is an injury to his left leg. The team has 13 fully guaranteed contracts, and starting point guard Patrick Beverley is on a non-guaranteed deal, as our roster counts show. Tarik Black, who has already earned more than the $50K partial guarantee on his deal for this season, appears to be the most vulnerable Rocket, though that’s just my speculation. The Rockets have reportedly been anxious to make a trade to upgrade their rotation, but perhaps they envision being able to do so with the addition of a rejuvenated Harrington instead.

Al Harrington Leaves China Amid NBA Interest

China’s Fujian Sturgeons have signed DJ White to replace Al Harrington, who has opted out of his contract, the team announced (translation via Emiliano Carchia of Sportando). Harrington left the team to pursue “immediate NBA offers,” according to David Pick of Eurobasket.com (Twitter link), and the GM of the Sturgeons acknowledged that the NBA was a possibility for Harrington as he spoke to reporters, Carchia writes. Still, it’s unclear which NBA teams have interest in the 34-year-old power forward. Many former NBA players who sign to play in China are bound to their respective clubs for the abbreviated Chinese season, but the deal that Harrington inked in August contained an out clause, according to Evan Wang of Hupu.com (Twitter link). The terms of the deal for White aren’t immediately clear.

Harrington was in fine form in the early going this season for Fujian, averaging 32.8 points and 10.8 rebounds with 37.5% three-point shooting in 38.7 minutes per game. The 16-year NBA veteran said in August that he had drawn interest from some non-contending NBA teams but that he hoped to re-sign with the Wizards, the team he played for last season, when he returned from China. The Wizards have a full 15-man roster, but they have Glen Rice Jr. on a partially guaranteed deal, and Rasual Butler‘s contract is non-guaranteed. Nene, who plays Harrington’s position, is dealing with plantar fasciitis in right foot, as Todd Dybas of The Washington Times notes, though the team doesn’t expect the injury to keep him out for long. Harrington struggled to find playing time last year with the Wizards after spending most of 2012/13 recovering from the effects of a staph infection that he contracted while undergoing knee surgery in April 2012. The Dan Fegan client was a key cog for the Nuggets prior to the operation, averaging 14.2 PPG and 6.1 RPG in 27.5 MPG during the 2011/12 season.

White, whose one-month deal with Spain’s Laboral Kuxta expired a few weeks ago, had reportedly been looking for a chance to latch on with an NBA team, but he’ll instead return to China, where he spent much of the previous two seasons. He’s been able to parlay his Chinese stints into NBA work both years, joining the Celtics at the end of the 2012/13 season and the Hornets (then Bobcats) last spring.

Eastern Notes: Monroe, Harrington, George, C’s

The idea that Greg Monroe would take a max offer from the Pistons isn’t necessarily true, as Pistons coach/executive Stan Van Gundy said last month, according to Vincent Goodwill (Twitter link). A resolution to Monroe’s restricted free agency still seems a ways off, as we passed along earlier today. Here’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Al Harrington hopes to sign with the Wizards after he returns from China, as he tells J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. He’ll make much more on his deal with China’s Fujian Sturgeons than he would have on an NBA minimum-salary contract, the forward also said in his conversation with Michael. The Wizards were unwilling to commit to re-signing Harrington before he inked the Chinese deal, Michael hears, though Washington was open to having him return as an assistant coach. Other NBA teams were interested in him as a player, Harrington said, but none of them were title contenders.
  • Pacers executive Larry Bird isn’t ruling out a return to action for Paul George at some point this season, even though the team is “sort of expecting him [to be] out all year,” as Bird said today to reporters, including Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star (Twitter link). We rounded up more of Bird’s remarks right here.
  • Celtics draft-and-stash prospect Colton Iverson has signed with Laboral Kuxta of Spain, the team announced (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). David Pick of Eurobasket.com first reported the agreement (on Twitter). It’s a one-year deal for the 53rd overall pick from 2013, his agent tells Ben Rohrbach of WEEI.com (Twitter link).
  • Celtics summer leaguer Dairis Bertans received invitations to training camp from NBA teams, but he’ll continue to play in Spain instead, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM.
  • Ray Allen has expressed a wish in past years that he could wait until September to decide whether to play the following season, so his unwillingness to commit to a team for 2014/15 is no surprise, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes in his mailbag column.

Al Harrington Signs In China

MONDAY, 8:42am: The chairman of the Sturgeons confirmed the signing to reporters, as Sina Sports notes.

SATURDAY, 10:57pm: Al Harrington has signed with Chinese team Fujian Sturgeons, per Jared Zwerling of Bleacher Report (on Twitter). Zwerling reports that an announcement will make the one-year deal official on Monday.

The news is a surprise, as the forward was interested in playing another year in the NBA, and had an open door to do so with the Wizards. Assuming Washington’s welcoming stance hadn’t changed, I would guess that the Chinese team offered more than the veteran’s minimum, which is likely all the Wizards would or could have offered.

Zwerling adds that Harrington plans to coach for the Wizards when his playing career comes to a close. The 16-year veteran has averaged 13.5 PPG and 5.6 RPG for his career, with a slash line of .444/.352/.727. The last two seasons have been his least productive since his first few years in the league, as his health has limited him to just 44 appearances in stints with the Magic and Wizards.