Andray Blatche rumors continue, but no frontrunner has emerged
Back on June 20th, Andray Blatche declined a $1.43 million player option that would have allowed him to stay with the Brooklyn Nets. Then on July 1st he officially became a free agent. What has happened since then? Not a lot. Let’s take a look at all the Andray Blatche rumors this offseason.
THE LATEST: The Miami Heat were connected to Blatche through rumors very early on this offseason and that seems to be the one team name that won’t go away. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat have made preliminary inquiries about Blatche, but have been reluctant to sign him out of concern for his maturity and behavior.
THOUGHTS: This seems like a good fit for Blatche, but it doesn’t sound like they’re extremely interested in him. Presumably, Blatche opted out of his deal with the Nets for more than the veteran’s minimum, but because of his past history it seems unlikely he’ll get much more. Perhaps he’s still holding out.
CLIPPERS DENIAL: There was briefly a rumor earlier this month that Blatche was set to work out for the Los Angeles Clippers, however, his agent later denied those rumors and it doesn’t seem like anything has happened since.
THOUGHTS: My guess is that either Blatche was hoping for interest from the team, but thought a tryout was beneath him or perhaps the Clippers were just throwing his name out there to gain more leverage, or to put pressure on, some of the other big men on the market. Doesn’t seem like something is going to happen here.
TORONTO CAME AND WENT: The Toronto Raptors were interested in Blatche, but it was very brief in early July. Chris Broussard of ESPN at one point tweeted out that the two sides were set to meet, however, that was nine days before the Raptors signed James Johnson which seemed to kill any potential deal.
NO NETS INTEREST: Way back on July 1, Nets General Manager Billy King said that he had reached out to all of the team’s free agents except for Blatche which was a clear sign that they didn’t want him back.
THOUGHTS: To be fair, it’s possible that Blatche just made it clear that he wanted a raise and, considering the Nets reportedly lost $144 million last season and eventually let Paul Pierce sign with the Wizards without attempting to match an offer, they might just have not wanted to spend any extra cash on him. I suppose the situation could technically change if Blatche came back hat-in-hand, but the Nets currently have a full roster so another move would have to be made.
EARLY PELICANS RUMORS: One other name that Blatche was occasionally tied to was the New Orleans Pelicans. Way back on June 14, before Blatche opted out, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders tweeted that the two sides had mutual interest. However, John Reid of the Times-Picayune quickly contradicted the report. On July 1st, Kennedy once again reported that Blatche was telling people that he may end up with the Pelicans. Nothing serious has happened since.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Andray Blatche has been a solid player for the Nets and averaged 18.9 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals per 36 minutes in two seasons here. That was after a disastrous time with the Washington Wizards where his shenanigans nearly forced him out of the game. Since then his play has helped improve his reputation, but a scandal involving a woman being assaulted and his suite in 2012-13 and an unofficial suspension by Jason Kidd over preparation and conditioning concerns seems to have shied teams away.
Blatche has the talent to hook on with a team. I mean, players have caught on with teams, even this offseason, and have had a larger rap-sheet. The problem here is that Blatche seems to be looking for more than the veteran’s minimum, which is $1.1 million, and if he sticks to that demand he might not find work.