EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Backup center Andray Blatche, now an unrestricted free agent, would like to stay with the Brooklyn Nets.
“That’s the plan. I’m not sure yet right now,” Blatche said Sunday. “I can’t tell you 100 percent yet. But that’s the plan for me.”
Blatche, 26, whom the Washington Wizards exercised their amnesty rights on his contract after seven tumultuous seasons there, was given a second chance by the Nets, who signed him to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract for the league minimum.
He made the most of it, averaging 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds per game during the regular season on 51.2 percent shooting.
Because they don’t have his Bird rights, the Nets can’t offer Blatche that much money: either 120 percent of the veteran’s minimum or the taxpayer’s mini mid-level exception.
But what they have going for them is Blatche is still owed $16 million by the Wizards over the next two seasons.
“I mean yeah, I thought about that,” Blatche said, when asked if he’d take “less” to stay in Brooklyn. “I’ve thought about that idea. I like it here, I got my second chance here and I’m loyal to being here. We just have to see what happens.”
Blatche is interested in seeing who the Nets bring in as their new coach, and that will factor into his decision. “It’s a long process me and my agent got to go through,” Blatche said.
Blatche was a starter in D.C. before serving as a reserve in Brooklyn. Is it important for him to be a starter again?
“Yeah and no," he said. "Just getting the right minutes, really, and playing, helping out.”
Could Blatche start at power forward next season next to center Brook Lopez?
“I played the four my whole career,” Blatche said. "This is my first year playing the five so a lot of people don’t realize. When I was at Washington I played the four the whole seven years there.
“I’m very blessed to have a second chance and for it go the way it did, to be able to help a team go to the playoffs and peak. So this summer, I’m going to take this summer and do the same thing I did last summer -- work hard and be prepared for next season.”