The Wizards don't want to answer this question but they will get it a lot: What about Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton? By scoring a proven veteran such as Al Harrington in free agency this week they lock up their 15th and final player under contract that will cause a ripple effect throughout the roster that will result in the 2011 first-round picks probably getting less playing time. That'll happen if Harrington who only played 10 games with the Orlando Magic last season because of a staph infection in his right knee returns near the form that made him a leading candidate for NBA's Sixth Man of the Year with the Denver Nuggets from 2010-12. He expects nothing less. "We talked just overall about me being here being a leader just knowing that If I do what I've done in the past I'll find minutes on the floor" said Harrington who has career averages of 13.7 points and 5.7 rebounds about his conversations with president Ernie Grunfeld and coach Randy Wittman before signing a one-year deal for the veteran minimum of $1.4 million. "That's kind of where we left it. I don't want no promises. I feel like I perform better when my back's against the wall. A lot of people wrote me off last year because of an injury that was out of my control." At his best Harrington 33 provides the Wizards some options going into his 16th season that the rest of the forwards behind him do not. Vesely and Singleton are entering their third seasons with team options on their fourth. Both were required to participate in Las Vegas summer league while Trevor Booker entering his fourth season wasn't. All three have similar skill sets as Booker rose to the top of that pecking order on Wittman's bench during a 29-win season. They all need to get better and speed up their development but that's going to be more difficult to achieve if Harrington who can bang inside hit the mid-range jumper and is a threat from the three-point arc is eating up the lion's share of the playing time. When the Wizards acquired center Emeka Okafor and small forward Trevor Ariza in a trade before last season that depth caused the deck to be reshuffled in favor of the veterans. The result: Booker averaged 19 minutes 5.3 points and 5.0 rebounds last season; Singleton logged 16 minutes 4.1 points and 3.2 rebounds; and Vesely played only 12 minutes when he averaged just 2.5 points and 2.4 rebounds.
Harrington will force Wizards to reshuffle frontcourt minutes
CSN Washington | Aug 16