Jul 14, 2010, 8:26 AM EDT
Denver needed Al Harrington.
When next season tips off, Chris “Birdman” Anderson and Kenyon Martin will still be sidelined. They had Nene at center but needed a four. Plus Denver wanted a bigger and deeper front line to deal with the Lakers come the playoffs.
So they went pretty big with Harrington — five years and $33 million, the full mid-level exception. And that got it done, as Harrington himself tweeted:
Yo my Tweeples. Appreciate the Love and Concern. But I’m taking my Talents to the MILE HIGH. Lol. Love Yall Lego DENVER!!
Dallas had appeared to be the frontrunner and even had owner Mark Cuban make a personal pitch since both were in Las Vegas. But money talks, and Denver opened the wallet wider.
Denver is a team that, once healthy, could be a very good fit for Harrington. He’s athletic, can put the ball on the floor and is a shooter with range, giving the Knicks 17.7 a game last season while shooting 34.2 percent from three. He loves to shoot. Sometimes a little too much, which leads to some questionable shot selection. And since you don’t shoot on defense, he can be disinterested on that end of the floor.
Denver may still need one more big to start the season.
But when fully healthy the Nuggets have forwards who want to go inside and bang. Harrington will give them some scoring off the bench and a guy who can pull help defenders away from the basket because of his range. He gives George Karl matchup options.
This certainly means Denver will not match Linas Kleiza’s offer from Toronto of four years, $18.8 million.