Adam Jun

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Chicago Bulls Listed Among Potential Al Harrington Suitors

August 3, 2013

As Bulls fans, we've been over this bridge before.

Wayne Ellington, Marcus Camby and most recently DeJuan Blair have chosen other suitors despite Chicago's well-intentioned courtship. 

The Bulls have stepped to the plate--albeit with limited resources to offer--only to strike out. 

But (another baseball reference alert) you can't hit a home run with the bat on your shoulder.

Enter next in line, spot-up shooting, combo forward Al Harrington. 

ESPNInsider.com's Joe Kaiser wrote of the Bulls potential interest in Harrington, who was released Friday by the Orlando Magic. 

Harrington, 33, can play small forward or fill the role of a prototypical "*stretch 4." At 6-foot-9, Harrington is a bit short, despite his cut, 245-pound frame, to bother opposing power forwards in the post. His lack of athleticism also hurts him defending small forwards. 

Memphis Grizzlies VP of Basketball Operations pointed out that despite Harrington's vast limitations on defense, he has become a master at a trick of the trade called "**pulling the chair" to help compensate for his lack of size, and overall defensive awareness. 

Harrington's real value however, comes on offense. His scoring ability is his greatest asset, and for his size, the 15-year pro can also handle the ball well, yet quizzically rarely draws fouls.

His career average of 13.7 points on 44.5% shooting (including 35.2% from 3-pt range) speaks to his knack for scoring the rock. 

Harrington is coming off a forgettable season in which he battled injury in Orlando. In all, Harrington played in just 10 games for the Magic, averaging 5.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.0 assist in only 11.9 minutes per contest. 

"I want to win, so I'll put it like this: I want to go to a situation where I can compete to make the playoffs," Harrington told Sam Amick of USA Today this week. "I'm too old to play for nothing. When I was younger, of course you play for stats and you want to be good, but I'm not going to be a Hall of Famer or nothing like that, so I want to win. I just want to win. 

[Read: 5 Potential Bulls Free Agent Targets To Watch]

"Whatever situation I can get to where I can help a team win, that's what I want to do. I don't want to play 36 minutes or none of that. Play 20, 25 minutes, just help mentor the young guys and stuff like that."

Is Harrington a good fit?

Yes, Harrington makes sense for the Bulls. His skill-set is essentially that of Antwan Jamison--whom the Bulls have been recently linked to--only Harrington has more upside at age 33 to Jamison's 37. Harrington would figure to provide some solid scoring punch off the bench for Chicago, and as has become tradition, would likely improve as a defender under Coach Tom Thibodeau. Jamison is so terrible on that end that I'm not sure even Thibs could help him.

Harrington in red, let's make it happen Gar/Pax.  

Footnotes

*A stretch 4 is an NBA term describing a player who spaces the floor with his ability to shoot the three from the power forward position, drawing opposing team's big men to guard them on the perimeter. 

**When a big man gets the ball in the post, he often uses his body to feel out the defender, and ultimately make his move. "Pulling the chair" means the defender, provides too much space for the offensive player, who had been anticipating physical contact on their move, often resulting in a turnover. 

Adam Jun covers the Chicago Bulls for the Chicago Hoops Forum on sportsideo.com

Follow him on Twitter, or the Bulls G+ for the latest developing Bulls news.

photo via NBA.com


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