Last night, the Brooklyn Nets signed their first key free agent of the offseason, power forward/center Andray Blatche. Blatche was a member of the Nets last season where he came off the bench backing up Brook Lopez. He had a career season, playing valuable minutes in the playoffs as well as the regular season.
Andray Blatche and his contract are great for many reasons. Firstly, the Nets are paying him so much less than he deserves. Blatche’s contract has the Nets paying him just $1.4 million this year and $1.5 million next year from the Nets. However, the Washington Wizards are still giving him amnesty payments. Because of Washington’s amnesty, ‘Dray did not try to go elsewhere for more money. The second year of the contract is a player option.
Sure, Blatche agreed to this deal in part because he wants to get back at the Wizards for amnestying him, but he also understands that the Nets are totally capped out and wouldn’t be able to afford him for any more money. This was a very unselfish thing of him to do.
In terms of basketball, Blatche fits into the picture very nicely, too. He will join a stacked Nets front court featuring Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett, but also including Reggie Evans, Mirza Teletovic, and Mason Plumlee.
Also, Blatche’s re-signing makes Reggie Evans expendable. Although most Nets fans would like to see Reggie back with the team in a smaller role, he could now be traded to another team for a backup point guard, which the team feels is a greater need. If Andray had not decided to stay, it would have been very difficult to move Reggie.
Blatche’s decision to return marks the first time a free agent takes less money to come to the Nets. Remember, we are only a few years removed from the Travis Outlaw 5 year/$35 million contract. Players want to come to Brooklyn and Barclays Center, and we should expect to see this trend continuing into the future.