For a couple years, current Brooklyn Nets forward Andray Blatche developed a reputation with the Washington Wizards as another player who had a ton of talent but would squander it away by being a bit of a knucklehead, both on and off the court. But now with a winning team and surrounded by veterans in the locker room, it appears that Blatche may have turned his career around.
Blatche went from leading the Wizards in scoring (16.8 points per game) and rebounds (8.2 a game) to becoming a victim of the NBA‘s amnesty clause just a season later, which allows a team to release one player without their salary continue to count on against the salary cap. Blatche then landed with the Nets for the veteran’s minimum before the 2012-2013 season to be an insurance policy in case Brook Lopez ended up injured again.
So far the signing has paid dividends for the Nets. Blatche has managed to remain professional for the most part while averaging 10 points and 5.3 rebounds in only 18.8 minutes, numbers that have led to Blatche unexpectedly being among the league leaders in Player Efficiency Rating (PER) — a statistic that measures a player’s value utilizing a combination of categories. Blatche’s PER of 22.2 is better than more prominent players like Chris Bosh, Al Jefferson, and Kevin Garnett.
If someone would have told you that Andray Blatche would be one of the most reliable players this season you would have told them that they belonged in a straight jacket. Luckily for the Nets, their low investment has reaped more rewards than even they could have ever expected.