With Al Harrington pushing to play for a contender next season, the chances of the Orlando Magic buying out his contract become more and more likely, as keeping him on the team would be much too expensive.
Harrington has an amazing deal worth $14.8 million for the next couple of seasons, obviously signed before the new CBA kicked in. In the new financial reality of the NBA and with the Orlando Magic not going anywhere next season, keeping Harrington as he rides off into the sunset simply doesn’t make any financial sense.
Harrington isn’t guaranteed all that money, and the Magic can buy him out for around half of that, or maybe even negotiate a different deal with him. Ideally, they would love to trade him, but there’s no chance anyone is willing to pick him such a contract for a 33 year old player who played in only 10 games last season.
Harrington, despite of last season, averaging only 5.1 points per game, thinks he still has plenty more to give. Considering he averaged 14.2 points per game for the Nuggets in 2011-2012, that is probably true. He lost 27 pounds in order to take some pressure of his troublesome knee, and is now waiting for a contending team to show some interest in him.
I’m only 33 years old, and people act like I’m 40. I’m just excited about getting back out there on the court and showing everybody. For me, this year I’m going to have a chip on my shoulder, so if I play like that I’m going to be tough to deal with.
With the Magic being able to buy out his contract for half it’s overall worth, it seems like the right course of action to proceed in. As for his next team, Harrington might get plenty of minutes in preseason so the Magic can try and shop him to teams and actually get some sort of trade done.
If Harrington shows that he’s physically back to a satisfying level and has his stroke from beyond the arc once again (shot less than 30% last season for the first time since the 2004-2005 season), there should be a number of teams willing to add a quick-scoring big man like him in order to improve their title chances.