When the Brooklyn Nets signed big man Andray Blatche last September, they essentially committed themselves to a serious reconstruction project.
Lo and behold, even after firing coach Avery Johnson, who held the most faith in the embattled and infamously out-of-shape Blatche, that project turned out to be the exact success the organization originally envisioned.
Now that Blatche has hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent, the Nets must make sure to re-sign him for the immediate future with the little bit of money they have available, as the salary cap is but a speck in the distance.
After being amnestied by the Washington Wizards back in July, Blatche was able to keep his head on straight in his entire first year in Brooklyn, averaging 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in just 19 minutes per game as a result.
With impressive ball-handling skills and a smooth outside jumper to complement the combination of physicality and length he brings at 6-foot-11, 260 pounds, he reminded everyone of the versatility that enabled him to enter the NBA straight out of high school back in 2005.
And when starting center Brook Lopez went down with a foot injury for seven games, Blatche filled in and posted a tremendous line of 18.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest.
Although he isn’t guaranteeing a return to Brooklyn, Blatche recently made comments that he will be back in all likelihood. For the Nets, retaining an asset as valuable as Blatche would be a huge step in the right direction.
But with the salary cap issues they have, losing him to another team would hardly go unnoticed.