Marc Stein of ESPN.com is reporting that the Dallas Mavericks will target free agent power forward Al Harrington with their mid-level exception.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Mavericks completed a trade for centers Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca; now it appears that they are searching for a big man with three-point range to round out their frontcourt rotation. According to Stein, the Mavericks would rather give their MLE to Harrington than free agent center Shaquille O’Neal.
Harrington’s talent has never been in question. He’s an athletic big man with three-point range and passable ball skills, and he can provide instant scoring off of any team’s bench. However, Harrington’s inability to pass, questionable shot selection, defensive ineffectiveness, and focus issues have kept him from becoming the type of player his gifts could have allowed him to become. Harrington has let some teams down in the past, but the Mavericks have enough talent around Harrington to focus on doing what he does: score the ball, and let his teammates worry about the rest. Harrington is a risky pickup, but he could provide something useful to the Mavericks if they do end up signing him.