Wizards Undecided On Blatche Amnesty



The first day that NBA teams are officially allowed to sign free agents and make trades is also the first day of the six-day window where teams are allowed to use the amnesty provision to cut players and remove them from their salary cap. The Washington Wizards are still undecided about whether to use the amnesty provision on one of the top league-wide candidates, forward Andray Blatche, according to sources.

Washington is exploring several options for Blatche, who has fallen out of favor both with fans in D.C. and with the organization after signing a contract extension in 2010 that reworked his existing contract into a five-year deal worth $35 million. The Wizards could opt for amnesty, which would remove the remaining $23 million the team owes Blatche from its salary cap, freeing up resources that the team will need in the next few years to extend players like John Wall and this year’s first-round pick, Bradley Beal.

The Wizards could trade Blatche immediately. Or, they could continue to explore trade options while removing Blatche from the daily workings of the team–in essence, paying him his salary to stay away. The Pacers used a similar strategy in 2008, forcing guard Jamaal Tinsley to sit out the whole season while not playing after he clashed with then-coach Rick Carlisle and the organization.

But asking owner Ted Leonsis to write that $23 million check is a big ask, sources allow, even though Blatche is not in the team’s future plans. The Wizards have remade their power forward group in the last year and a half, drafting Jan Vesely with the sixth pick in the 2011 Draft and acquiring Emeka Okafor from New Orleans last month (along with small forward Trevor Ariza) for Rashard Lewis. Second-year forward Trevor Booker also played extremely effectively in spots the last couple of years. Washington has Ariza and Chris Singleton penciled in to take the lion’s share of minutes at small forward.

The Wizards, according to sources, do have potential trade options for Blatche, who played in just 26 games last season, averaging 8.5 points and 5.8 rebounds before, essentially, being shut down by Washington and removed from the team for the rest of the season. (Coach Randy Wittman, re-signed by the Wizards to come back next season, does not want to coach Blatche going forward, according to several sources.) The Pistons and Bobcats have expressed some interest. But the Wizards are not at the moment interested in taking back big contracts like Tyrus Thomas (from Charlotte) or Charlie Villanueva (from Detroit) in exchange for Blatche.

Teams are allowed to use the amnesty provision once during the life of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Seven teams–Orlando, New York, Golden State, Cleveland, Brooklyn, Portland and Indiana–used the provision last season and cannot use it again. The 76ers are going to use the provision to release forward Elton Brand and his $18.1 million salary from the team’s books. That will allow the 76ers to sign free agent guard Nick Young and absorb the salary of forward Dorell Wright, whom Philadelphia agreed to acquire on Tuesday from Golden State in a three-team deal that will send Hornets guard Jarrett Jack to the Warriors.

Players who are amnestied are subject to claim by teams that are under the salary cap. The team that submits the highest bid for the player gets him. This provision was included to keep higher-revenue teams, many of whom are luxury tax payers and thus ineligible to make amnesty claims, from being able to hoard good players that might suddenly become available.

15 Comments

  1. Jerson Basid says:

    I think blatche is not a competitive player like other.Wizards need to move forward in the future without blatche. Adding Nene,okafor.Blatche is no room for wizard now.Absolutely a Palyoffs team next year..Wizard go,go,go,go. but ofcourse it so unfair what miami did to the other team. They add allen. All star Line up.

  2. john says:

    wizard will make playoffs next year

  3. john says:

    wizards will make playoffs next year

  4. Wizards making playoffs says:

    Mark my words.

  5. TomD1753 says:

    So the Wizars have an offer from the Bobcats for Blatche that the Wizars don’t like, and they have an offer from the Pistons that they don’t like, and they have the amnesty provision that they don’t like (Ted says it’s a lot to ask), and Wittman says he doesn’t want to coach Blatche any more, and John Wall wants Wittman as the Wizars coach…and people are trying to reach Blatche for a comment?????? What is he supposed to say: “Obviously the Wizars don’t want me on the team but they won’t accept a deal to trade me or waive me so that I can get on with my career” [my quotes, not his]?

    It really sounds to me as though the Wizars are creating a hostile work environment for an employee with whom they have a contract. If they don’t trade Blatche or waive him (amnesty or not) and they won’t play him, it would appear to me as though someone could make a good case for the fact that the Wizars would be denying Blatche the right to earn a livelihood. Simply paying him for three years wouldn’t cut it. His skills would erode and his chances for future employment would be substantially diminished.

    Welcome to the REAL NBA Ted.

    • Jay says:

      Wizards defense was vastly improved (Top 5 actually) after Nene arrived.

      Please update your meme accordingly.

  6. tbone22193 says:

    Everyone in Washington does not hate Blatche or Ernie Grunfield. Folks have gotten on the hate bandwagon and put extreme stuff out there and it usually goes unchallenged…

    • AN says:

      I am a die-hard Wizards fan, and I seem to remeber at every game I was at, if Blatche stepped on the floor he was booed by everyone in the crowd. Everyone in Washington knows hes a lazy bum who is a waste on a team in the middle of rebuilding.

  7. AN says:

    The Wizards really need to get rid of Blatche, everybody in Washington hates him. We could even get another backcourt player, which we really need, if we amnesty him.

  8. hosch says:

    If Nene wants to leave I will be glad to see him go.

  9. Mo says:

    “Players who are amnestied are subject to claim by teams that are under the salary cap. The team that submits the highest bid for the player gets him. This provision was included to keep higher-revenue teams, many of whom are luxury tax payers and thus ineligible to make amnesty claims, from being able to hoard good players that might suddenly become available.”

    This is such a joke! This has already proven not to work. Look at Gilbert Arenas, and Rashard Lewis. They signed for minimum contracts. Leaving the original team on the hook for the majority of the payroll. Vetran players don’t want to play for losing teams. Who wants a player that doesn’t want to play for you. Chauncey Billups is a prime example. There should be a 75/25 rule. When you use your amnesty it comes off the cap hit but the original team does not have to pay anymore than 75% of the remaining salary, and the new team can not bid any less than 25% of the contract.

    • JH3 says:

      How is Chauncey a prime example? He made a ton of noise that no team should put a claim in on him. The (pre-CP3) Clippers did anyway and he fell in line in about a heart beat so much so that he resigned with them this offseason.

      If I was a bad team I wouldn’t want Rashard Lewis if Gilbert either. First, Rashard Lewis was bought out, not amensty’d. There was no waiver process for him, now back on point: They aren’t capable of doing most of what made them highly paid players in the first place. Gilbert can’t get by reserve PGs anymore, let alone starters. He showed that in Memphis. His jumper was always just good enough to make driving lanes. Now those lanes are gone and his jumper can’t save him. Lewis will only make Miami slower and less athletic no matter where he plays.

      Now Elton Brand is a different story. He isn’t the player he once was either but the going rate for a player with his production last season is around 6-7mil. There’s no reason he should make it through waivers when the winning bid could be 2 million for a single season.

  10. two says:

    I think Washington will need to do something to excite the team and its fans, because otherwise John Wall and Nene might leave.

    • JH3 says:

      Nene is signed for the next 4 seasons. He isn’t going anywhere. Fans worry about John Wall leaving after his rookie deal but it is almost unheard of for a rookie to ignore the extension and play for the tender instead. Honestly, fans have bigger issues to deal with, such as will John Wall ever be worth the extension in the first place? Look at the Kings and Tyreke Evans. He’s not a PG but he is productive. What do you pay a 14-5-5 guy who can’t shoot 3’s? John is a lot like Tyreke in that he has not progressed much in the NBA. His jump shot is awful, if not awful its on the same block as awful.

      • Jay says:

        Wall and Evans aren’t in the same category.

        Evans is a shooting guard who really can’t shoot that well, that occasionally plays the point. He hasn’t improved a lick since his rookie season, and he was clearly just playing for that 20/5/5 statline then. He’s not a proven winner. Period.

        Wall is a 16/8/5/1/1 player who is just a serviceable jumper away from the All Star game. He’s working hard on that this summer, and he’ll undoubtedly improve. He can’t possibly get worse.