Andray Blatche Opting out of Contract, Wants to Re-Sign with Brooklyn Nets

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Andray Blatche Opting out of Contract, Wants to Re-Sign with Brooklyn Nets
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Andray Blatche was a rarity, a bargain contributor who outperformed his contract for the historically pricey Brooklyn Nets.

The 27-year-old is reportedly looking to change his situation. While he's not necessarily chasing a new home, he does seem interested in improving his financial books over the summer, according to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

A highly skilled big man not above a few mental missteps, he emerged as one of coach Jason Kidd's more reliable reserves. He finished sixth on the team in scoring (11.2), third in rebounding (5.3) and third in efficiency (18.8 player efficiency rating), via Basketball-Reference.

With nothing more than a $1.4 million player option left owed to him, via ShamSports, there's some incentive to strike now while the iron is hot. It wasn't long ago that he seemed like a lost cost, amnestied by the Washington Wizards following a dismal 2011-12 campaign that saw him average just 8.5 points on 38.0 percent shooting in only 26 games.

The Nets have since reaped the rewards of a low-risk investment in Blatche that began with a one-year nonguaranteed contract for the 2012-13 season. While there would seem to be mutual interest from both parties, Brooklyn has some bigger questions to answer before getting to Blatche.

That's assuming, of course, the Nets take the same names-over-numbers approach that backed them into such an impossible situation. Blatche isn't the type of player who can keep open a championship window that's perhaps already closed (or never actually opened), but he's a valuable piece of the present and, unlike his teammates, the future.

He's a unique specimen, even in this larger-than-life league. At 6'11", 260 pounds, he has the build and creativity for the low block, but his talent extends well outside the restricted area.

"He can play on the perimeter, too," Coach Kidd said of his reserve big, via Alex Raskin of The Wall Street Journal. "When you have the ability to play inside and out for, I would call him a seven-footer, that's special."

Provided Blatche stays in his lane, he's a walking matchup nightmare. His plus-4.5 on-court net rating led all Nets interior players this postseason, and Brooklyn desperately missed his presence when he sat (minus-3.2 net rating).

With more than $85 million already committed to the 2014-15 payroll, Brooklyn doesn't have a ton of available funds to throw at its reserve post player. Then again, overspending for talent—or, in the case of some of its veterans, the simple idea of talent—apparently isn't an issue for this franchise.

There's a wide gap between Blatche's good days and bad ones. At this point of his career, the nine-year player may never capture consistency.

"Half magnificent, half maniacal. You’re never quite sure what version of Blatche you’re getting until he’s inserted into the game," wrote SI.com's Matt Dollinger.

At least with Blatche, there's some potential for production. That's not a claim that all of his high-priced teammates can make.

 

Statistics used courtesy of NBA.com and Basketball-Reference. Salary information obtained via ShamSports.com.

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