The New York Knickerbockers President of Basketball Operations Donnie Walsh announced today that forward Al Harrington has been acquired from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for guard Jamal Crawford.
“I drafted Al back in 1998 and I think his talents are a great fit for our style of play,” Walsh said. “This trade also gives us more long-term flexibility while enabling us to remain competitive this season. To acquire a player of Al’s caliber, we had to give up someone we all really liked in Jamal. We thank him for his contributions both on and off the court, and we wish him all the best in Golden State.”
Harrington, 6-9, 250-pounds, was selected by the Indiana Pacers with 25th overall selection in the 1998 NBA Draft out of St. Patrick’s High School in Elizabeth, NJ. The Orange, NJ-native has career averages of 13.0 points and 5.8 rebounds in 660 career games over 11 NBA seasons with Indiana, Atlanta and Golden State. Harrington averaged 13.6 points and 5.4 rebounds in 81 games during the 2007-08 season with Golden State and is averaging 12.4 points and 5.6 rebounds in five games during 2008-09 campaign.
“Al is a true NBA veteran who possesses multi-positional skills,” Head Coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He will fit perfectly into our system and will help us win some games immediately.”
Crawford, 28, has appeared in 11 games (all as a starter) with the Knicks this season, averaging 19.6 points and 4.4 assists in 35.6 minutes. He has scored 25-plus points in five of his 11 outings this season, highlighted by a season-high 32 vs. Utah on November 9. He currently ranks 25th in the NBA in scoring (19.6), first in three-point field goals made (35) and 18th in three-point field goal percentage (.455).
“We are elated to add a player of Jamal’s ability to our team,” said Warriors Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Chris Mullin. “We think he is an excellent fit for our style and the fact that he can play multiple positions as a combo guard is a big plus. Additionally, he is a player who can help us immediately due to some of our injuries and, looking down the road, would have the ability to play with any combination of players in the backcourt.”
Last season, the 6-5 guard averaged a career-high 20.6 points and a team-leading 5.0 assists per game in 80 games with New York (all starts). He ranked 23rd in the NBA in scoring and 24th in assists, making him one of only nine NBA players to rank among the top 25 in both categories, joining Chris Paul, Baron Davis, LeBron James, Allen Iverson, Andre Miller, Joe Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter.
“I am really excited and energized about this opportunity,” said Crawford. “The Warriors have been one of the most entertaining and fun teams in the league the last few years and I think my abilities are very conducive with their style and their needs. It will be a tremendous honor to play for one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game, Don Nelson, and to be a part of a young team with a lot of emerging talent.”
Currently in his ninth NBA season, Crawford was originally selected in the first round (8th overall) of the 2000 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was subsequently traded to the Chicago Bulls on draft night (June 28, 2000) in exchange for the draft rights to Chris Mihm. The University of Michigan product played four years in Chicago (2000-2001 through 2003-04) and the last four-plus seasons in New York. He scored a career-high 52 points for the Knicks against Miami on January 6, 2007 and has dished out a career-best 12 assists on three occasions. Additionally, he is one of only 11 active NBA players to tally 50-or-more points in multiple games (also scored 50 for Chicago at Toronto on April 11, 2004).
Overall, Crawford has appeared in 543 NBA games during his career, averaging 14.7 points and 4.1 assists.
Crawford will wear uniform #11 for the Warriors.