Thursday, June 5, 2014
Offseason breakdown: Andray Blatche
By Mike Mazzeo
This is the ninth installment of our daily Nets play-by-player breakdown, with an emphasis on what’s to come next season.
ANDRAY BLATCHE, CENTER
Year in review: During the regular season, Blatche produced 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game off the bench, while finishing with a Player Efficiency Rating of 18.85. Blatche also took a career-high 54 3-pointers, making 15 of them (27.8 percent). In the playoffs, he was inconsistent, averaging just 6.4 points in 14.3 minutes on 44.8 percent shooting. In late December, the Nets announced that Blatche would miss four games due to “personal reasons.”
Role moving forward: Blatche has, for the most part, been tremendous in a reserve role since joining the Nets. If he stays, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t stay in that role. Blatche, of course, is one of those talented yet confounding players. Sometimes, he amazes. He hits ridiculous shots. He even takes over point guard duties on occasion. But then there’s other times when he makes boneheaded plays that leaves his teammates and coaches scratching their heads.
Contract status: Blatche, 27, said on baggie day that he will opt out of the final year of his contract ($1.4 million) and become an unrestricted free agent.
What they’re saying:
“When he’s going into his Live mode, his Dray Live mode, anything can happen.”
-- Deron Williams
Should they bring him back? Eh. Here’s the deal with Blatche financially:
The Nets have his Early Bird Rights, meaning they could offer him at most a four-year contract worth about $25 million. (He also has $8.4 million in amnesty payments coming for the Washington Wizards next season). Blatche has enjoyed playing in Brooklyn, and said on baggie day that his No. 1 priority is to stay.
But is it smart for the Nets to bring him back? Is Blatche worth the trouble he sometimes puts on himself? With an already decent stockpile of big men that could potentially include Brook Lopez, Mason Plumlee, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Nets may ultimately decide to move on.