The Nets continued their busy offseason on the opening day of free agency, coming to an agreement to re-sign Andray Blatche to a one-year, $1.4 million deal Monday night.
Retaining Blatche, which won’t be official until July 10, was crucial for the Nets, who need to retain as much depth as possible up and down their roster, and particularly behind newly acquired Kevin Garnett.
After the Nets signed Blatche after he’d been amnestied by the Wizards last summer, the 6-foot-11 big man – who is capable of playing both power forward and center – had a terrific season for the Nets, proving to be one of the biggest bargain signings in the entire league last year. Blatche averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds coming off the bench for much of the season and pairing with Brook Lopez to give the Nets the best 1-2 combination at center in the NBA.
“Of course,” Deron Williams said during his exit interview, when asked if he wanted the Nets to retain Blatche. “Dray was a big part of what we did this year.
“He’s so talented. He’s unbelievably talented. It’s just a matter of consistency and him bringing it every night.”
Because of the fact that Blatche is still owed over $16 million over the next two seasons by the Wizards, he said repeatedly during and after the season that he would consider taking less money from the Nets in order to stay with the team that helped him resuscitate his career.
“Yeah, I thought about that idea,” Blatche said in his exit interview on May 5. “I got my second chance here, and I’m loyal to being here. We just have to see what happens.