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.