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It’s official, Wizards amnesty Andray Blatche. Any takers?

Jul 17, 2012, 5:52 PM EDT

Andray Blatche, Ryan Anderson AP

We told you before this was coming — the Washington Wizards have decided to amnesty big man Andray Blatche, who was owed $23 million over the next three years, first reported by Michael Lee at the Washington Post and since confirmed by Wizards owner Ted Leonsis on his blog.

“Andray’s time in D.C. didn’t unfold as any of us had envisioned, and we felt it was best for the Wizards – and for Andray too – if we parted ways” Leonsis wrote. “I briefly got to know Andray, and I like him and wish him well, but he needs a fresh start somewhere, and we need to move forward with our current core group of players.”

Blatche was the only last-minute addition to the waiver wire. Chris Anderson will return to the Nuggets.

Blatche now goes on the amnesty waiver wire — teams under the salary cap can bid to pick up a portion of his salary, the team with the highest bid gets him.

It will be interesting to see if anyone bids.

This move was about locker room culture in Washington almost as much as money. Blatche is a talented 6’11” who has never seemed to take the game seriously. He’s had good years — Blatche averaged 16 and 8 two years ago with a PER of 16.9. But he was inconsistent and his defense was unimpressive. He slumped last year due to injury.

The Wizards have now moved out Blatche, JaVale McGee and Nick Young in favor of players they think will be more professional to put around John Wall. Guys like Nene, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. In the end, how well the Wizards do really comes down to Wall living up to his potential, but at least now he has a fighting chance.

  1. shockexchange - Jul 17, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Depaul?

  2. spellingcopfather - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:03 PM

    Wish the Spurs could pick this guy up, if POP can keep Captain Jack clean, i belive he could do the same with andray. But we all know Spurs do not sign Guys over 6’9!!!

    • jwreck - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:34 PM

      While Stephen Jackson may be something of a turd off the court, Blatche is a turd on the court, which is a huge difference. You don’t want this guy. Possible attitude problems aside, Jackson has given every practice and every game his all over the last fourteen years. Blatche has played six seasons and is already Basketball’s Albert Haynesworth. I don’t like the Spurs at all, but I wouldn’t wish Andray on my worst enemy. He’s a cancer that drags the whole team down with him.

    • saint1997 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:37 AM

      Don’t think about it. Spurs are all smart players. You don’t wan’t to bonehead-ify your locker room. Took the Wizards 3 years to get rid of that culture

  3. Justin - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    Seems like this is a guy who could go to a team with a solid, veteran locker room like Miami, Boston, or San Antonio and be successful. Then everyone will look back and wonder why Washington cut him lose. Absolutely the right move though.

    • shockexchange - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:12 PM

      Basically pay him a lot of money to play on ready-built team where he only needs to show up and collect his paycheck and potential championship ring? We should all have a job like that.

      • knightrider1755 - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:27 PM

        Hmmm! Reminds me of Eddie Curry.

    • jwreck - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:42 PM

      Two years ago, everyone was making this exact comment about Albert Haynesworth. Belichick couldn’t fix him, Tampa Bay couldn’t fix him, and now his career is over. Blatche is the same way. He doesn’t care. Some guys just don’t have the attitude to succeed as professionals.

    • stayhigh_247 - Jul 17, 2012 at 11:38 PM

      yeah you mean like Eddie Curry….this guys a bum and only has himself to blame for this predicament.

  4. rockthered1286 - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    @justin:
    Highly doubt it. Blatche has been in the locker room with vets like Jamison, Haywood, Butler and Nene for half of a season all to no avail. He’s had 3 different coaches all of which could not help hi cause. He’s seen arenas and what’s his name get into the gun altercation and booted for demeanor issues and he still continued with his attitude and problems. I highly doubt anyone can get him in line but just like every troubled player getting let loose, people always blame the team not the player.

    • Justin - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:22 PM

      yeah good call. I don’t see much of Washington. The recap of his dumbassness is making me rethink my comments. I knew he was a headcase but he may be incapable of saving.

    • passerby23 - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:48 PM

      Disagree. There are vets and then there are veteran leaders. I don’t think Haywood or Jamison have been particularly noted as being vocal leaders throughout their careers. Guys like KG, Kobe, and Popovich won’t take any crap from guys like Blatche.

      It’s also unfair to compare the circumstances. The Wizards have not been a winning franchise and their season was already tanked. You don’t magically change with a few games left in the season just because a few vets land on your team.

      Give him a new environment, a winning culture, with veterans who can keep him in line, and where he can play loose and simply be asked to rebound and play hard and the kid might see a rebirth, kinda like McGee in Denver.

      • jwreck - Jul 18, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        “the kid might see a rebirth, kinda like McGee in Denver.”
        _____

        Kid is the operative word in your comment, and the reason why it won’t work. Javale McGee is a dumb kid. He can benefit from a change of scenery, it will help him to grow up a little.

        Blatche is a grown man. Maybe if he got a second chance at 22 or 23 like McGee, this would be a different story, but he didn’t, and now he’s an adult. His adolescent stupidity has transformed into aggressive ambivalence, bitterness, and a lack of desire to succeed on the basketball court. LeBron James might have asked if he should “accept his role as the villain” on the national stage, but it takes a really strange individual to accept a role as the villain on his own team. By the end of his tenure in Washington, Blatche welcomed the boos of his hometown crowd, considering the hate of his would-be fans to be an adequate replacement for the cheers he would have received if he had tried on the court, even just a little bit.

        I’m no psychologist, but the dude is a head case, and probably needs a social worker more than “veterans who can keep him in line”.

      • passerby23 - Jul 18, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        All of the things you describe are a product of a losing culture, being surrounded by other immature players, and no leadership.

        And maybe he can’t be reformed, but I would be willing to roll the dice on him for a low-risk investment.

      • rockthered1286 - Jul 18, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        McGee has only played a handful of games for the Nuggets. His stats are no different than they were while he was with the Wiz. The only difference is the fans haven’t been around him long enough to gripe about his behavior and antics, and he’s a year older now. Using the whole “vet presence” concept, who is the vet on that team that has changed him? Can’t say the coach because McGee had Saunders, who is a well respected NBA coach, working with him and the Wiz. I don’t see a true vet leader on the Nuggets, just a bunch of young talent and a few vets but not leaders like the KG’s, Kobes and Duncans of whom everyone is discussing.

        That being said, I 100% agree with @jwreck. McGee is still young and moldable. He has room to grow and change. Blatche has been in the league several years, has seen a ton of players come and go, and has decided to play the villan role the rest of his career. He’s made more enemies than friends, and teams are well aware of the red flags and baggage that comes with Blatche.

        And if we can cross over sports here to prove the whole “vet presence” concept is a fail, lets look at Albert Haynesworth. You could say he had a bad supporting cast with the Skins, but he did get traded to the Pats, who have all of the veteran leaders you can ask for, primarily coach BB and Brady. Result? Epic fail. Ends up with the Bucs. Career is shot. He’s a vet, not a youngin. He passed his point of being moldable and was set in his ways. Led to his demise.

      • passerby23 - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:39 AM

        You make some good points. And you might be right. In fairness, McGee did seem to play harder and be less of a problem when he arrived in Denver. You could chalk that up to playing for a contract and being on a playoff team, I’m sure. He may revert to his old ways again, but I’m willing to give the kid the benefit of the doubt that being part of a winning culture will elevate his game and reputation. If I’m wrong, I’ll eat crow.

        The Wizards were so bad, Flip Saunders couldn’t save them. And there’s something about having 3 or 4 troubled, immature guys (Blathe, McGee, Arenas) on the same team that just create a kind of locker room cancer. I know from playing experience. When you are on consistently poor teams, it’s hard to bring consistent effort and passion. You don’t train as hard and tend to mail in games. After all, you’re not expected to win anyway. You join a winning team and that changes quickly.

        As for Albert Haynesworth, I sorta have a theory that he got “old” fast and got “fat” on his money. He’s had a lot of injuries too. Look at what happened to Ochocinco in NE. Surely, he’s better than what he showed. Football is full of head cases.

      • skinsfanwill - Jul 19, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        Jamison is the guy that grabbed Gilbert Arenas when he was screaming at a lady that worked for the organization and told him to cut the zhit. Jamison was the one that told him to act like a professional. Him and Caron Butler are the ultimate locker room good guys and leaders. Gilbert suffered from dumbassness (look where he is now), and Blatche suffers from stupidassness. Some people have to lose it all before they appreciate what they had.

  5. itsthemelman82 - Jul 17, 2012 at 6:50 PM

    Veteran locker room leasdership is so overrated. Everyone is different if a guy is a knucklehead then that’s just what he is. Andray, this is your chance to grow up and fulfill your potential.

  6. asainta - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    If I recall correctly, didn’t he get shot a couple of years ago? Word on the street is, he is kinda thuggish.

  7. playin2x - Jul 17, 2012 at 7:09 PM

    Personally I don’t think John wall is as good as advertised he is a superstar in the making just not yet .. He definitely needs help around him to succeed better

  8. jkaflagg - Jul 17, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    It would really be great to see one of these classic knuckleheads go to a team with good coaching, take things seriously, find a role and build a solid career…..just doesn’t seem likely to happen when they still get paid no matter what they do…

    • Kurt Helin - Jul 18, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      JaVale McGee has George Karl as his coach now.

  9. tomtravis76 - Jul 17, 2012 at 9:51 PM

    If he clears the waiver, look for New Orleans to make a run at him, there is a front office connection.

  10. 49erminer4life - Jul 17, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Grow up playing against him. I know 1st hand hes nothing close to a thug. Never hung in that circle. Hes just a knucklehead that cant get right. He made it further than most from syracuse but with the least talent.

  11. stayhigh_247 - Jul 17, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Screw this dude, why waste a roster spot on him? I’d rather find and develop some unknown undrafted or D League kid at a fraction of the cost. There is no coach or veteran leader that can make you want to play. That has to come from within..

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