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NBA Amnesty Candidates 2012: Andray Blatche

I'm sure this ended well.
I'm sure this ended well.

I know, Andray Blatche can play at power forward and center, an ideal 5th big. His contract is guaranteed and the upside is still there! Mike Wise recently expressed a concern about whether Ted's slow-build approach to the Wizards was a cheap one. Ted was not happy with Wise's implication. The decision to amnesty Andray Blatche (or not) is not as simple as it first appears.

Amnestying Dray comes down to asset management. There is no quesiton his contract has become a toxic one. Interpreting retaining Blatche's services for another season through the lens of frugality, why pay full price with no chance of redeeming any of his upside? Especially when another team in the league can leverage his talents for a pittance while management prays 7-Day Dray doesn't turn into the next talent the team ran out of town? And there seems to be no need to leverage the cap space for free agency, so what does it cost to keep him another year when we're stuck with the tab anyway? This is eminently logical and defensible.

And, as the estimable Spencer Hall penned recently, we are mostly left with emotionally tautological arguments when we argue for amnesty. There is a clear pattern of behavior that frankly points toward more of the same, but doesn't make those unassailable facts mentioned in the previous paragraph any less unassailable. However the same logic that led Rook to mention the likelihood of a Euro draft-and-stash due to the unbalanced amount of youth of the roster also leads to the necessity of jettisoning 'veteran' influence that can only be a negative in the locker room. Like a professional athlete who gets paid more than John Wall and can't keep his weight under control. Has Dray become our own Eddy Curry?

He is a veteran with no respect in the locker room. A would-be leader no one is willing to follow. Especially now that the real veteran leader in Nene Hilario is on board. With so few veteran voices, how can Ted justify having Dray as one of those precious few voices? As Rook pointed out, the Thunder never lacked for veteran experience. Does the 'volume over precision' approach go for veteran leadership as well as acquiring young players?

He has become an empty roster spot at best and a major distraction at worst; a destabilizing element in the rotation. Former new big 3 member, former starter, former captain...could we justify simply flying in the face of financial logic and simply give him a fresh start on another team where the stigma of his contract won't hang over his head? Re-sign James Singleton to round out the power forward rotation. Toss a second rounder at a center prospect who can rebound (Kyle O'Quinn?) who might grow into respectable backup capable of hauling in a defensive board. Or not.

Every Wizards fan knows the circumstances by this point. $23 million and change guaranteed over the next three years. The team plans to be better, but not necessarily active in free agency. There's a significant likelihood one or both of Washington's second round picks may be used in draft-and-stash scenarios overseas (if they are not utilized in a draft day trade) due to the extreme youth of the roster.

We know the front-office is hardly enamored with him, after exploring a possible trade for Charlotte Bobcat cancer Tyrus Thomas. Awhile back, I said JaVale McGee and Nick Young were talented young players with NBA skillsets and were retarding the progress of this team. Sometimes there is no way to turn one year of those two and Ronny Turiaf into 4 more years of Nene. Sometimes you just bite the bullet. I can see the rationale for giving Andray Blatche one more chance to redeem himself, but I don't think anyone is holding their breath. In the end, that's as representative of his time in DC as anything else.