According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat are two teams interested in free agent center Andray Blatche formerly of the Washington Wizards.
Free-agent rumble that just dribbled across the pond: Heat & Spurs among teams to express exploratory interest in free agent Andray Blatche
Blatche has had many immature issues through his career in Washington over the years, and was finally released via the amnesty clause from the Wizards last month. Blatche stands at 6'11" and averaged 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.4 turnovers per game in 26 games for the Wizards last season.
Things got so bad in Washington that he was booed numerous times on his own home floor because he publicly criticized the team early in the season. If Blatche can get his head on straight, he's still a player that could have some potential as he's just 25 years old. A veteran group like the Spurs or Heat could be just the situation he needs to reinvent himself.
The Spurs are a team that still needs some height in the post as their only big men taller than 6'9" are Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, and Matt Bonner. They have 6'8" center Boris Diaw as their starter, but with the disgruntled DeJuan Blair seeking a trade, Blatche could easily take the place of Blair. There are games where Blair isn't needed, so if they were able to trade Blair or release him, then Blatche could take that vacant big man spot.
With either the Spurs or the Heat, Blatche wouldn't need to make an immediate impact at first, as they're both two established teams who already have their core's intact. In a way, signing Blatche could be like an experiment project if you're the Spurs, so long as he's not seeking more than the veteran's minimum. The Spurs rely so much on Duncan, Diaw, Splitter, and Bonner, that Blatche could ease his way with small increments of minutes throughout the season to see if he's able to understand and perform in their system.
Blatche has two choices here, the glamorous road with the Heat, or the low-key blue collar road with the Spurs. In Miami, he gets to live in South Beach and play basketball with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, plus former teammate Rashard Lewis and now Ray Allen. But, Miami is also a place where he can continue to make bad decisions as the media are constantly following their every move and there's a more popular scene for the nightlife in Miami.
In San Antonio, Blatche can learn from veteran's in a quiet setting, where the media isn't constantly following the players, and even during the season, they don't get much exposure until the playoffs. The decision will ultimately be up to Blatche.
Last month, our own Kyle Boenitz wrote about whether San Antonio should entertain the idea of looking into Blatche and Boenitz had a pretty good end to his article on the whole situation.
Honestly, this guy does have some talent, it showed for about half a season. He just covers it up with all the stupid stuff he does. Maybe with a professional organization and a disciplined coaching staff like the Spurs, he could finally reach his full potential. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Spurs could get this guy for next to nothing and then turn him into something special?
Now I’m not saying this could, should or would happen, but maybe in the land of fantasy hypotheticals it’s fun to think about. At the very least, he’d be entertaining for six weeks before Coach Pop kicked him to the curb. The Spurs have prided themselves on smart personnel moves for years, maybe it’s time to try something stupid.
Blatche has to learn discipline and increase his basketball IQ; being a responsibile citizen is essential to connect with the discipline and IQ aspects of playing in the NBA for a contending team. No one is questioning the talent issue but commitment and responsiblity. Once the 7 million dollar vacation expires, life will be looking Andray in the face. So lets wake up and smell the coffee.Play ball showup be responsibile and do your job well. The fans are paying your salary.
At 26 yrs old, Blatche has all the time in the world to be a good player. It really depends on which team he will sign with, the Heats or the Spurs? If he is after glamour, sign with Heats and play with LBJ, Wade and Bosh and maybe a NBA ring but, he rides the bench. So developmentwise, he gets nothing. With the Spurs which need a long, young, athletic, I won't say good player at this point, player he may get the break necessary to develop and prove his detractors wrong. Whatever happened in Washington must be forgotten and begin anew with Spurs. If I were him, I would take the opportunity to play with Spurs putting aside monetary consideration but, to some players the glamour and money is just too much to turn their back. Besides, will the Spurs spend precious $ for a player like Blatche?
@rtesoro440 rt, he was amnestied, that means he still gets paid his contract $ from wiz..7 mil this year. So he will likely sign for vet min somewhere...And heat cant pay more than spurs
If you want Blatche to see how the San Antonio fans would like to see him in a Spurs uniform tweet him @drayblatche and let him know. He love to hear from folks who might appreciate the contribution he could make to the team.
I would love it if we got this guy. It just seems like a lot of the time we can't attract free agents. The guy has gotten a bad rap, whether it is true or not, he should look at the spurs as we are a great organization for helping guys like this turn the corner.
I learned a long time ago not to doubt PATFO but I do doubt most of the rumors I hear about the Spurs as they are false 9/10... Not saying it isn't a sexy rumor, if he could pick up the system it could be a great gamble. I still don't understand why more bigs don't want to come and learn from the best other than the fact that the "Hollywood" mentality is common in most of todays young players, so I doubt he would pick the Spurs over Miami. The Iverson attitude is much more common than the TD attitude. Would love for this to be the exception!
If the spurs can rein in S. Jax and make Diaw productive again, I think they can spread the love with Blatche. Offer him as much as we can and let's see if he will sign! No harm in trying. Too bad we can't do a sign & trade with Blair...
WHEN will allegedly legitimate sports writers take the time to learn the facts about Andray Blatche? Your regugitation of stories perpetuated by the print media in Washington is lazy and unprofessional. Blatche, unlike Wall (the self-proclaimed "Savior") was THE TEAM PLAYER on a very flawed Wizards team. Before making ignorant comments like "stupid stuff" [Kyle Boenitz] or "publicly criticized the team" [Garcia] or "get his head on straight," [Garcia], get the facts. I have them, and they're not even remotely close to what you or the DC press has written about Andray Blatche. Whatever team lands Blatche will be a better team! TomD1753 is right. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid!
Anyone who thinks that Blatche is a problem player simply doesn't know the guy and has been drinking the kool-aide handed out by the Washington press corp that treats every situation as political...having a good guy and a bad guy. The annointing of John Wall as the Wizards face-of-the-franchise by a rookie owner set the good-guy, bad-guy press stage for Wall and Blatche. He who has the gold makes the rules, so Leonsis rolled out the red carpet for Wall and threw Blatche under the bus. Contrary to the misinformation published by writers for the comPost, Blatche is one of the most UNselfish players you could ever have on a team. When the Wizards traded Jamison and Blatche got some serious playing time he produced some serious numbers. He will be 26 years old when the season begins. Whichever team signs him will have someone who can provide the missing piece that could produce a dynasty.
@TomD1753 Let's hope you're right. I too thought there was something fishy about a horrible team blaming its woes on a single player and then amnestying him after he was probably a top 3 talent on the team. It was an odd move. I just hope Blatche is mature enough to see that the Spurs will give him ample opportunity to showcase his talents while the Heat will just relegate him to 3rd string PF.
Blatche has had a very disruptive career, and his immaturity is troubling. However, I have learned that bad organizations contribute to underperforming NBA players. The Wizards have been a terrible FO in recent years; they have no system and have done a poor job of developing talented players that they have drafted. I don't think that they have developed John Wall the way the could have. How many #1 draft picks have been wasted by pathetic front office managements like the Clippers, Bobcats, Hawks and Warriors?
There are other examples. I believe had the Pistons drafted Carmello instead of Darko, not only would they have more than one title, but Carmello might be mentioned in the same breath as Kobe, because the Pistons system would have emphasized mental toughness, team play and defense. At Denver, they catered to him too much.
For all the hoopla over Lebron with the Heat, the Cavaliers under the oft-criticized Mike Brown actually provided him with a good foundation for becoming a better basketball player and the Heat reaps all the benefits. Yes, he's a superhuman talent, but he's improved his game. It might have worked for the Cavs, if Gilbert didn't make the mistake of trying to be Lebron's "buddy". Pat Riley operates differently.
How many times have we heard about Atlanta Hawks' players not playing to their potential? At times, their squad has had as much talent or more on the floor than any NBA t eam, yet they've never been close to being champions. The same goes for the Orlando Magic team that lost in the finals to the Lakers a few years back, but their problem was a weak-hearted superstar/team leader in Dwight Howard. That team should have had no weakness, but instead of Howard rallying the troops and using the loss as motivation, he blames his FO for not getting him enough help; Smith gutted that team and the rest is history that refuses to die even now. LOL
I say all the above just to conclude that a player like Blatche, if HE wants to get better, can and will flourish in a culture like the Spurs. Besides just professionalism and preparation for the game, they will let him know who he is as a player and what his defined role on the court should be. In many ways, the Spurs make it easier for players because you're not asked to do everything or to figure it out on your own. You just have to be disciplined and committed.
hate to break it to you but whenever I see the Spurs interested in someone and they list Miami Dallas or whoever else these days as also being interested....players always go to the other team..they never want to come to us
Why so, MONEY,glamour, location, etc?
@kmartin3243 I'm sure it depends on the player and their situation..Diaw had other interested teams too. Sounds like he may be most interested in playing time..how much PT did eddy curry get on heat last year? Point is, ALWAYS was just not the word to use imo.
Thank you god..I've been waiting for this..I personally believe that if mr Blatche comes to sa both Timmy and pop will.set him straight..also i believe he could have a bigger role in sa than mia..plus he is young, could be a guy we turn too once Timmy hangs them up..
Finally someone the Spurs are interested in, ProjectSpurs.com got a little boring. (jokes)
Not a bad idea on the Spurs part. Main concerns are his ridiculous actions he takes. Hopefully he can move on from that phase an be more professional in the Spurs organization, "IF" he signs with the Spurs. He does have potential like everyone is saying but I'd like to see more maturity coming from this guy. If he don't take his job serious on the Spurs roster, there isn't gonna be a promise he will be a long-term Spurs player. Maybe do a 10 day contract, or a little longer to see how this guy progresses so the Spurs won't blow some millions on this guy. If he don't progress an satisfy Pop than it'll save Pop & the organization time and money.
That's my insight on this "interest".
@koshwayne If they sign him at all it will be for vet minimum, and he should be ok with that since hes already getting 7 mil from wiz
@rtesoro440 @spursfan80 @koshwayne Vet minimum is vet minimum..means no more to Spurs than anyone..Exactly HOW do you propose he "proves himself" anyway? Its becoming clear that you are only here to complain..you throw fits about needing a big, Spurs are reported to be looking at one that could be really good at minimum $, and you complain more?
@rtesoro440 @Spursfan66 @koshwayne you've been crying for a big man forever and we may have a decent one fall in our laps that we can afford and you want him to prove himself first?!?! What do you want for near the vet's minimum that they are likely to offer him? If he does choose san Antonio, it will be to keep his nose down and prove himself! If he chooses Miami (which is highly possible) he will be surrounded by the press. We all know that the spurs get ignored, so that could play into his favor and every little thing may not get blown out of proportion. I hope they can get him and find a good trade for Blair so he goes to a good team. He doesn't deserve to rot on the bench...
Although Blatche is stupid, he had good reason to complain about the Wizards. They are a garbage, and their FO has done literally nothing to change that. I think if Blatche were put on a contender he would shine. I'm glad that Blatche is being considered because we're not going to be able to go far in the playoffs with our current front line.
spurs123 - Just a friendly reminder... With our CURRENT front line we made it to within 2 wins from the NBA Finals.. So, I don't think going far in the playoffs is an issue for this team. Blatche could be what puts us over that 2 game hump. Other then that, nice insight. I definitely agree that he would shine on a contender (Spurs more so then the Heatles).
if he could be taught to be one or 2 dimensional, he can rebound and block shots, but can he ever develop the discipline and submerge his ego ?
Why not at this point? If the Spurs FO doesn't have a trade in mind, and DJB is that determined to get out of town then we should definitely give Blatche a shot. I think Timmy D and Pop can motivate him to train hard and play smart. How well he will fit into the Spurs system is definitely a risk but one I think we should take at this point if another big is not on the radar.
Also, I don't want the Heat to get anymore washed up players who want to hop on the bandwagon to try to get a ring. It's getting a little ridiculous now.