The Brooklyn Nets took a chance on Andray Blatche in the offseason and signed him to a veterans minimum deal and an invite to camp. Blatche was amnestied from the Washington Wizards this past summer after he signed a three-year, $35 million deal in 2010. Blatche wore out his welcome in Washington but has a chance with Brooklyn to resurrect his career and be an asset to the team.
Blatche still has $23 million left on his contract that will be paid in full by the Wizards. He is only 26 and two seasons ago, he averaged 16.8 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals, so the ability is there for him to succeed.
This past summer, Blatche worked out with John Lucas to try and get himself into shape and revive his career. The complaint from the Wizards was that Blatche was out of shape and was a problem in the locker room with all of the young guys on the Wizards team. Blatche showed up to Nets training camp 20 pounds lighter and seems to be refocused on becoming an asset to the Nets.
Stefan Bondy on NY Daily News caught up with Blatche a few weeks ago when training camp started.
“To be honest with you, I’ve forgotten about Washington. It’s old. It happened. I took it,” Blatche said. “Now I’m moving on. I can’t do over the past. It would make me bitter and hold me back from what I’m trying to do.”
“I understand why I got (the one-year non-guaranteed contract). And it is what it is. I’m just going to come here and work hard,” said Blatche, who impressed during voluntary workouts leading up to training camp. “I’ve been going back to being myself. I feel good, I’m playing good. My confidence is great. I’m just going to go up there and give it everything I got.”
Blatche has looked great in the first three preseason games for the Nets both on the offensive and defensive ends. He is looking for his shot as well being a good passer from the post. He came away with 12 Pts and 5 Rebs in the opener against the Sixers.
Blatche went up against his old team on Monday to open the Barclay Center and came away with 16 Pts and grabbed 8 Rebs while playing inspired defense all night. He came back better in the next game with 23 Pts and 9 Rebs when the Nets went to Boston to play the Celtics.
The Brooklyn Nets could be benefit big from this big man needing to resurrect his image. So far so good, Nets fans.
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