10:58am: If Blatche were to return to China, he would be in line to receive a “substantial” raise over what he made in China this season, Windrem tweets.
10:25am: Blatche is seriously considering a lucrative contract offer to re-sign with a team in the Chinese Basketball Association, Shams Charania of RealGM reports. The big man is being pursued by several teams in China, and he may forgo a return to the NBA this season, Charania adds.
FEBRUARY 14TH, 9:12am: Nets GM Billy King indicated that a decision regarding Blatche would be made shortly, but he did not indicate if the team intended to sign the big man, Robert Windrem of NetsDaily reports. “Yeah, we’re in discussions about it,” King said. “We’ve had contact with him and hopefully we’ll make a decision soon.”
4:18pm: Several playoff-bound teams have interest in Blatche, tweets Alex Raskin of The Wall Street Journal.
FEBRUARY 2ND, 12:16pm: The Nets and Grizzlies are among the teams interested in signing Andray Blatche, who’s once more a free agent after his deal to play in China expired this week with the end of the Chinese season, reports Mike Mazzeo of ESPNNewYork.com. Miami has also shown interest in Blatche, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported in December, though it’s unclear if the Heat still want to chase him in the wake of Hassan Whiteside‘s emergence, Mazzeo writes.
That Brooklyn would be going after the 28-year-old big man is surprising after he was the only one of the team’s free agents with whom King did not meet at the start of the negotiating period in July. Nets management applauded what was reportedly a de facto suspension that then-coach Jason Kidd handed out to Blatche last season over concerns about his conditioning and preparation. Brooklyn nonetheless believes that Blatche can help at this point, tweets Reed Wallach of NetsDaily.
Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace spoke openly this weekend of his willingness to gamble on inexpensive talent for the end of his roster, and Memphis signed Michael Beasley and Tyrus Thomas earlier this year. Blatche would fit the profile of the veteran power forward the team seems to be after, though Memphis just agreed to a 10-day deal with JaMychal Green, which would fill its lone open roster spot, if only temporarily. Brooklyn is only committed to 14 players.
Heat officials reportedly made preliminary inquiries about the Andy Miller client over the summer, but it appears that Miami has had longstanding concerns about Blatche’s maturity and behavior. The Heat have 14 players signed for the season plus Tyler Johnson, who’s on the fifth day of a 10-day contract. Miami has a disabled player exception of nearly $2.653MM to offer, giving the team a financial edge over the Grizzlies, who have only a sliver of their mid-level exception remaining.
However, the Nets have Blatche’s Early Bird rights, so they can sign him for a prorated portion of the $5.632MM estimated average salary. The rate of proration would give the Nets roughly $4.837MM to spend if they signed him today, with about $33K coming off that amount daily. Blatche just completed a one-year, $2MM deal with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers after having spent the previous two seasons in Brooklyn. He put up 31.0 points and 14.5 rebounds in 38.7 minutes per game while in China.