Andray Blatche has decided to opt out of his current contract with the Brooklyn Nets. This move was expected as his contract next year was only worth $1.43 million. He is simply looking for long term security with his next contract and has also said that he would prefer to come back to the Nets next season. Although, he will now become a free agent and will be a very interesting piece for a lot of teams looking for a quality big man. Keep in mind, Brooklyn does own his Early Bird Rights, so they are able to offer him more money long-term.
The Nets indeed have the edge to sign back Blatche and there is mutual interest. But the real question has to be: Is it the right move for both parties?
The former high school standout now has 9 full seasons of NBA experience under his belt and has really been able to blossom into a valued NBA big man over the past few years. Blatche has averaged over 10 points per game in his two years with the Nets in a reserve role that has suited him well. He has mostly rid himself of his Washington Wizards reputation that was an anchor during his last bout with free agency. In Washington, he was known as one half of the most incompetent front court in the NBA along with Javale McGee. Blatche was then amnestied by the Wizards, who will still have to pay him $8.4 million next season.
I bet the Wizards don’t want to be reminded that they are still paying a guy who is best known in Washington for doing this…
It will be interesting to see if the Nets decide to offer him a contract this offseason or rather choose to let him sign somewhere else in order to free up some much needed cap space. A positive for the Nets is that Mason Plumlee exceeded expectations during his rookie campaign, which is likely to make this decision much easier for GM Billy King. Blatche will be a hot commodity this summer as a lot of teams around the league could use a player with his size and strength down in the post. The Clippers will undoubtedly make a push for Blatche, as there isn’t much help behind Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin. And don’t count out the Warriors and the 76ers, whom will both be looking to bolster their front lines.
The Nets have their hands full this offseason and seeing how they handle Blatche may be an indicator of future things to come from the team.