As the season ended for the Brooklyn Nets last Wednesday with a series-ending defeat to the Miami Heat, questions quickly arose about potential free agents and who would be back with the team come next season. Among them was backup forward/center Andray Blatche.
After having been amnestied by the Washington Wizards following the 2011-12 season. He signed a one-year deal with the Nets the next offseason and then signed a two-year deal last offseason with a player option for the second year. Each time the Nets were paying close to the veteran’s minimum as the Wizards still owed Blatche a significant amount of money after having amnestied him.
Blatche has been a key contributor to the Nets each of the last two seasons. In 155 games, Blatche has averaged 10.7 points per game and 5.2 rebounds while shooting 49.4% from the field in just 20.5 minutes per game. His player efficiency rating this past season was 18.85. He was basically the Nets sixth man off the bench each of the last two seasons.
The Wizards still have to pay Blatche for one more season. However, it appears as though Blatche is now looking for long-term security. As NetsDaily points out, the Nets can offer Blatche up to four-years, $25 million. However, it is unlikely that the Nets or any team will offer Blatche such a deal.
Blatche’s work ethic and commitment have always been a concern for his teams. With these types of issues, interested teams will likely offer Blatche something closer to a two-year deal worth $10 million.
The nine-year veteran certainly has plenty of talent. He has good ball-handling skills for his size. He has a nice shooting stroke and a good touch around the basket. He can drive to the basket, post-up or shoot a jump shot.
As Taylor Luchtefeld has already pointed out, Blatche should have plenty of suitors this summer.
However, it would be in Blatche’s best interest to re-sign with the Nets this offseason. In Brooklyn, he has been able to revive his career. He has found a team and city that believes in him and appreciates his services. During his tenure with the Nets, he has been surrounded by veteran players and coaches that have helped him turn into a better player. The Nets have also been relatively successful the past two seasons having made the playoffs each time and advancing to the second round this season. Despite the numerous questions surrounding his teammates, the Nets will likely still be a formidable opponent in the Eastern Conference come next season.
It’s entirely possible that Blatche will receive more money and a longer deal elsewhere. He should still re-sign with the Nets. He already knows his role with the team. He already knows his value to the team.