Atlanta Hawks forward Al Harrington, rumored for weeks to be headed back to Indiana as a part of a sign-and-trade deal with the Pacers, fired his agent Tuesday, according to ESPN The Magazine's Ric Bucher.
Harrington severing ties with agent Andy Miller could have serious ramifications for his move out of Atlanta, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on its Web site.
According to league rules, there must be a 15-day window between the time a player officially fires his agent and the time he can hire new representation. Harrington is expected to hire Arn Tellem as his new agent, the Journal-Constitution reported, citing persons familiar with the situation.
By switching agents, Harrington may have opened the door for other teams to re-enter trade talks with Atlanta. There were initially between five and 10 organizations interested in a potential sign-and-trade deal with the Hawks before Indiana emerged as the front-runner.
It was believed that, once the Pacers and Hawks finalized their deal, Atlanta would have signed Harrington to a six-year contract worth nearly $57 million and sent him to Indiana.
The Golden State Warriors, the other prime contender along with Indiana to acquire Harrington, pulled out of talks late last week, conceding that the versatile forward was heading back to the Pacers.
Miller, a league source told Bucher, should be credited with having tried every conceivable way to work a sign-and-trade that would get Harrington the $55 million to $60 million contract he was looking for, but the Hawks' restrictions on what they would take back -- no player contracts that went beyond this season, $3 million in cash and draft picks -- nixed every potential deal.
While there will be a delay as Tellem gets up to speed with the market for Harrington, this could also expedite matters after that because Tellem and Hawks GM Billy Knight have a good relationship as a result of past dealings.
Tellem is the agent for both Joe Johnson as well as the Hawks' No. 5 pick, Shelden Williams. Tellem will no doubt canvas the league, but at the end of the day, the Pacers should still be considered the favorites because they are the only team, at present, that has expressed interest and has the trade exceptions to acquire Harrington without forcing Atlanta to take any players back.
The 6-foot-9 Harrington was selected by Indiana as the No. 25 overall pick in 1998. He averaged 18.6 points per game and 6.9 rebounds last season, his second in Atlanta after having played six years in Indiana. For his career, Harrington, 26, has averaged 12.4 points per game and 5.8 rebounds.