Cleveland Cavaliers Trade Rumors: Is Andray Blatche Out in Washington?

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2011

NEW ORLEANS - MARCH 31:  Andray Blatche #7 of the Washington Wizards drives the ball around Darius Songaila #9 of the New Orleans Hornets at New Orleans Arena on March 31, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Wizards defeated the Hornets 96-91.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

So far this season in the NBA, teams have been mostly talk and no action. One such team has been the Cleveland Cavaliers, who were expected to be a major player in the trading department in the NBA this season.

Cleveland was rumored to be the third team in the Carmelo Anthony trade, but sources say they were asking for too much for their huge trade exception, something the trade market is saturated with this season.

The Cavs, otherwise, have not done very much in terms of moving players and planning for their future.

Recently, it seems that the Cavs have become interested in Washington Wizards power forward Andray Blatche.

So, let's take a look at Blatche and see if he is a player that could help the Cavs in the long run, and what the Cavs would have to give up to get him.

First, let's start basic, and look at Blatche's stats.

Andray has improved every season that he has been in the NBA, and is now averaging 16.1 points and eight rebounds per game.

He isn't a great shooter for his size, with a 41.5 percent field goal percentage, but he does have a decent jump shot and is a good free throw shooter, shooting nearly 80 percent from the stripe.

Blatche has very active hands on the defensive end of the floor, grabbing just over a steal a game, and is blocking just under one shot per game.

He does this all in just about 36 minutes a game, which makes the numbers more impressive, as he isn't doing it while being overworked.

Looking deeper, we see that Blatche isn't anything really special offensively or defensively, as his offensive rating is right around 93 points per 100 possessions this season, and his defensive rating is about 107 points given up per 100 possessions.

He is not exceptional with dribble penetration, as you would like a jump shooting big man to be, because after he clears his first defender, he will often put his head down as he goes into the lane, either losing sight of the basket or charging into a defender in a worst case scenario.

Then, there are the questions about his dedication and drive.

There are a few examples of Blatche either doing something completely ridiculous during the course of any game, and he tends to give up on a defender from time to time.

Here, he is seen guarding Hornets' forward David West as he hands off the ball to Trevor Arizal. Rather than stepping in front of Ariza, he meekly watches as he runs around West, who has set a pick on Rashard Lewis so Ariza can scoot easily to the basket.

Then there is this clip, in which Blatche misses a fast break layup, which calls into question whether he always has his head in the game or not.

Finally, to round out my criticism of Blatche is his me-first attitude that seems to rise up from time-to-time, but never so much as here, in a game against the Nets in which he is one rebound away from a triple-double and does anything for that final rebound, including yelling at his teammates.

If I'm not mistaken, I remember a certain Cavalier back before the LeBron James days throwing a ball at his own basket in order to get the final rebound for a triple-double.

Do we really need another guy with a Ricky Davis mentality?

None of this is to say that Blatche cannot become a good player with a good head on his shoulders. It just means that there is a lot of work to be done with Blatche, mentally.

Often, it is hardest to change the mindset of a player for the better, but if there is any coach who could do it, it would be Byron Scott, who is good at getting young guys to buy into what he says.

If the Cavs were to make a move for Blatche, the only way I could see myself being happy with it would be if he were to be involved in a multi-player deal in which the Cavs also receive a pick or two from the Wizards in exchange for the huge trade exception the Cavs own, or a few players on the Cavs.

Blatche can put up the numbers to look good on paper, but I'm not so sure that he would be good for the future of this franchise.