That seemed to be who the Nuggets had to choose between after missing out on Jermaine O’Neal and Udonis Haslem. And it is pretty surprising, or not so surprising, that the Nuggets went with Al Harrington over Brad Miller.
Not saying it was a bad choice, but considering the Nuggets need for a center and that they already had a pretty good scoring team, it seemed Miller was the most likely candidate for the Nuggets.
But instead Denver gave the 6-foot-9 Harrington a five-year deal at $33.4 million (last two seasons are only partially guaranteed). The 30-year-0ld has a career scoring average of 14.1 points, and is coming off of a season in which he averaged 17.7 points.
Miller, instead, took a $15 million/3 year offer from the Houston Rockets. The 34-year-old center played all 82 games last season and averaged 8.8 points and 4.9 rebounds a contest. Maybe it wasn’t a bad choice, because when teams go for needs instead of best player available they miss out on some potential stars, and looking at the digression of the two players it seems the Nuggets made the right choice.
Harrington, while three inches shorter than Miller and probably won’t be able to guard most of the centers in the League is four years younger than the former Purdue center. And just judging from their statistics (even though they only tell half the story – especially considering that Miller was in the rotation of the playoff team, the Chicago Bulls, and Harrington was in the New York Knicks highly potent offense) Harrington still has a lot left and Miller is slowly going down hill.
- HARRINGTON – 17.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists, .86 steals, .36 blocks, .435 FG %, .342 3-point %, .757 FT
- MILLER – 8.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, .54 steals, .35 blocks, .43 FG, .28 3-point, .827 free throws.
Also remember that Harrington played over 30 minutes a game and Brad Miller played a little less than 24 a contest, and it was third highest scoring output of Harrington’s career and it was the third lowest of Miller’s career. It was also the second fewest rebounds in Miller’s career as well.
Another attribute that makes Harrington valuable is his versatility, he can play power forward, small forward and can occasionally play center. Not to mention his ability to spread the floor. Both were missing in the Nuggets arsenal last season.