Andray Blatche

Cap Notes: Lakers, Zubac, Crabbe, Lin, Nets

In the past, NBA teams have often kept free agents’ rights on their books long after those players have retired — teams that never went below the cap had no reason to renounce those players, since their cap holds often helped teams avoid losing trade exceptions and full mid-level exceptions. However, with the salary cap jumping to $94MM+ this season, only a few teams have avoided going below the cap, which means more and more of those free agents who have retired or been out of the NBA for multiple seasons are being renounced.

As Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders notes (via Twitter), the Nets did just that this week with players – or former players – like Jerry Stackhouse, Jason Collins, and Andray Blatche, renouncing those cap holds to help clear cap room.

Here are a few more cap-related notes and updates from around the NBA:

  • The Lakers renounced a notable free agent of their own, officially removing Kobe Bryant from their books, per Bryant had a maximum-salary cap hold following his final NBA season, so Los Angeles had little choice but to renounce it if the team wanted to make use of its cap room.
  • Lakers second-round pick Ivica Zubac got two guaranteed seasons on his three-year deal, per Pincus, who tweets that Zubac will earn salaries worth $1.03MM, $1.08MM, and $1.13MM, respectively.
  • Allen Crabbe‘s offer sheet with the Nets is worth $18.5MM in its first, second, and fourth years, with a third-year salary of $19.3MM, according to Pincus (Twitter links). The deal, which the Trail Blazers could match, also has a fourth-year player option, a 15% trade kicker, and “significant payment advances.”
  • Pincus also provides the details on Jeremy Lin‘s new contract with the Nets, tweeting that it features a third-year player option, a 10% trade kicker, and $2.3MM in unlikely bonuses on top of the $36MM base value.
  • We’ll be updating our full list of traded player exceptions soon, once all of the recently-reported trades become official, but we can expect many of the TPEs on that list to disappear. As Bobby Marks of The Vertical tweets, the Cavaliers, Thunder, and Clippers may end up being the only teams with trade exceptions when the dust settles.

Andray Blatche Inks Multiyear Deal In China

1:47pm: The deal doesn’t include any NBA escape clauses, Pick clarifies to Hoops Rumors, but it’s unclear if the team would allow him to play toward the end of an NBA season once the Chinese season ends.

MONDAY, 7:47am: The deal is worth a total of $7.5MM, a source tells David Pick of, adding that the big man has put pen to paper on the contract. The salary is guaranteed, and Blatche has no interest in returning to the NBA, Pick also hears (Twitter links).

SATURDAY, 8:56am: Former NBA player Andray Blatche is set to sign a three year deal to return to the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, reports (hat tip to Financial terms have not been disclosed but the deal is reportedly the largest in the history of the CBA, and possibly the largest in overseas basketball history, the report notes. Shams Charania of first reported the possibility of Blatche re-signing with Xinjiang. The 28-year-old big man dominated the Chinese league last season, averaging 31.0 points and 14.5 rebounds in 38.7 minutes per game for the Flying Tigers.

A number of NBA teams were reportedly interested in signing Blatche for the remainder of this season, including the Nets and Grizzlies. Miami had also shown interest in Blatche, as Marc Stein of reported back in December, though the emergence of Hassan Whiteside likely dampened the Heat’s interest in inking Blatche, speculated Mike Mazzeo of Heat officials reportedly made preliminary inquiries about the Andy Miller client last summer, but Miami reportedly had longstanding concerns about Blatche’s maturity and behavior.

Blatche has appeared in a total of 564 NBA games over the course of his career. His last taste of action in the league came during the 2013/14 campaign with the Nets when he logged 11.2 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 22.2 minutes per game. Blatche’s career numbers are 10.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per contest. His career shooting numbers are .467/.237/.725.

Donnie Nelson On: O’Neal, Blatche, Sanders

Mavericks president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson joined Dallas’ 1310 The Ticket today and discussed a number of topics regarding the team. The Dallas Morning News transcribed a number of the highlights from Nelson’s interview:

When asked if the team would still like to add another big man, Nelson responded by saying:

“We’re not opposed to the right addition. But, again, it’s gotta be changed for the right reason. We do like what we have and for it to settle down. I think one of our big needs was answered with Amar’e [Stoudemire]. If we do add a player he would be an end of the bench type, specialist piece; it’s a possibility, but I wouldn’t wait for something like that to happen because it probably won’t at the end of the day.”

On if he thinks the window to sign Jermaine O’Neal is closed:

“That’s really a question for him. The door is always open. We’ve always been fans and he’s our kind of guy. It’s really where he is at with his family, with his health situation. Whether it’s during the season or summer, he’s a Dallas resident and we’d love to have the conversation if and when it’s right for him.”

On if the team has any interest in Larry Sanders, who has hinted that he may not return to the NBA, Nelson said:

“For the here and now, we’re long enough and tall enough on our front line with Tyson Chandler and our backup situation. If there is any potential or possibility there it’d be a summer conversation.”

When discussing Dallas’ interest in free agent Andray Blatche, who is currently considering a lucrative contract offer to return to China, Nelson said:

“Yeah, and a lot of these depend on minutes. Some of the guys, as they’re looking over the NBA landscape, let’s face it. If you take a player of that caliber and put him on our team, how much is he going to play? That certainly resonates with him and his agent. Those are possibilities, whether it’s a shooter or a little more support in the front court. But, again, it’d have to be the right piece. I wouldn’t be optimistic that anything would happen at this point.”

Atlantic Notes: AK47, Prince, Blatche, Bass

Andrei Kirilenko said he doesn’t understand why the Sixers kept him for more than two months, waiving him only this weekend instead of cutting him soon after they traded for him in December, as he told Pavel Osipov of Sport-Express (translation via Aris Barkas of He said he didn’t hear anything from Sixers brass for two weeks following the trade, and the forward confirmed that he went on unpaid suspension when he refused to report.  Here’s more from the Atlantic..

  • The Celtics promised Tayshaun Prince that they would buy him out but reneged when they traded him to the Pistons, a source told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.  The Clippers, he adds, were likely disappointed when Prince was shipped to Detroit.
  • The Nets don’t have any other moves planned at this time and they’re not willing to eat any of their current contracts to make space for Andray Blatche, according to Robert Windrem of NetsDaily (on Twitter).
  • While his role in Boston has fluctuated, Brandon Bass told A. Sherrod Blakely of that he would “definitely” be open to signing a new deal to stay with the Celtics.  “If I’m wanted back then yeah, I would want to be back for sure,” said Bass. “It’s been a blessing for me to be here four years, to finish out my contract here. I’m excited about that. Hopefully everything will continue to go in a positive direction.”   Bass is earning $6.9MM in his walk year.
  • A chance to get on the floor was among the many reasons Gigi Datome was excited when he learned that he had been traded to the Celtics, A. Sherrod Blakely of writes.
  • 76ers GM Sam Hinkie is stockpiling second-round picks because, out of a handful, he figures to hit on at least one, as Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.  “We will not bat 1.000 on every single draft pick,” Hinkie said. “We have them by the bushelful in part because of that, because we don’t have any hubris that we will get them all right. We’re not certain we have an edge over anyone else. We’re not certain we have an edge at all. That’s OK. It’s a hard league, with 30 teams trying to clamor to the top of the same mountain.” The GM continued his polarizing rebuild plan at this year’s trade deadline when he moved Michael Carter-Williams for draft considerations.
  • New Nets acquisition Thaddeus Young is motivated by the death of his mother and the promise of making a playoff push, Lenn Robbins of writes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Nets, Grizzlies Pursue Andray Blatche

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 Miami has also shown interest in Blatche, as Marc Stein of 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.

And-Ones: Malone, Blatche, Walker

Michael Malone‘s reputation among NBA executives remains high in spite of his firing from the Kings, as Sean Deveney of The Sporting News hears. He may have to wait a while for a job, since few teams seem ripe for a coaching change, Deveney writes. The Timberwolves are one of those few, according to Deveney, and Malone has been tagging along with Minnesota as an observer at the request of coach/executive Flip Saunders, as Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune notes. Saunders, who has a deal to coach the team that’s open-ended in length and Glen Taylor haven’t spoken about whether Saunders, who also serves as the team’s president of basketball operations, will continue to coach next season. All of this doesn’t mean that Malone is in any way a candidate to become the next coach of the Wolves, as it’s simply my own dot-connecting, but it’s worth keeping an eye on. Here’s more from around the league:

  •  There has also been some talk linking Malone to the Cavaliers, Deveney notes. With the Cavs not meeting expectations thus far this season, rookie coach David Blatt could be the one who takes the blame, Deveney adds. Malone was an assistant in Cleveland under former coach Mike Brown, which was during LeBron James‘ first stint with the Cavs, notes Deveney. James is a fan of Malone, which certainly wouldn’t hurt Malone’s chances should Cleveland decide to make a coaching change, the Sporting News scribe adds.
  • Andray Blatche, who is currently playing in China, will become a free agent in February and is drawing interest from NBA teams, Jorge Sierra of Hoops Hype reports. “Top teams in both the Eastern and Western conference playoff race have begun the recruiting and courting process,” Andy Miller, Blatche’s agent, told Sierra. Blatche appeared in 73 games for the Nets last season.
  • Florida sophomore Chris Walker considered entering the 2014 NBA draft but wisely decided to return for another season in college, Chris Mannix of writes. I needed to get stronger, and I needed to learn the game,” Walker said of his decision. “When I go to the NBA, I want to go and actually play. I don’t want to sit or play in the D-League.” Walker, who is currently ranked No. 39 by DraftExpress, could use another season in school before jumping to the pros, Mannix adds.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Heat Have Interest In Andray Blatche

The Heat are eyeing Andray Blatche, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter link). The 28-year-old big man is committed to China’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers through the end of their season, a stumbling block considering that the Heat are in need of an inside player immediately, as Stein points out (on Twitter). Josh McRoberts is expected to miss the rest of the season and Chris Bosh is out indefinitely, but the regular season for the Flying Tigers doesn’t end until February 1st, and Blatche could be stuck in China until mid-March if Xinjiang makes the CBA finals as the team did last season.

Miami has been hesitant to sign Blatche in the past because of his maturity level and his behavior, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote over the summer. Blatche was absent from the Nets for what the team called personal reasons over a four-game stretch a year ago, but the break was reportedly a product of then-Nets coach Jason Kidd having essentially suspended him because of what Kidd saw as a lack of conditioning and preparation. Still, Miami wasn’t definitively ruling out the Andy Miller client as of August. The Raptors reportedly met with Blatche over the summer, and while another report indicated he would work out for the Clippers, Miller said that dispatch was false. Blatche was apparently telling many folks around the league that he would end up signing with the Pelicans, but he instead signed his Chinese deal in late September.

The Heat gained a disabled player exception worth precisely $2,652,500 because of the McRoberts injury, as Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald reported late Friday, so they can offer significantly more than the prorated minimum salary. However, that exception expires March 10th, a date that might precede the end of Blatche’s obligations in China. Miami is carrying 15 players, as our roster counts show, so the team would have to let someone go to create a spot for Blatche. He was productive off the bench for Brooklyn the past two seasons, averaging 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game last year, and he’s been an overall plus on the court, as I noted when I examined Blatche’s free agent stock in August.

Andray Blatche Signs With Chinese Team

7:00pm: Pick has informed Hoops Rumors that the $2MM figure first reported for Blatche’s deal is correct.

12:25pm: Andy Miller, Blatche’s agent, has confirmed the signing, Adam Zagoria of tweets.

12:08pm: The deal is for approximately $2.5MM, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports notes (Twitter link).

11:55am: According to his sources, David Pick of Eurobasket (Twitter link) reports that Blatche has signed the deal, and it is for one-year, $2MM.

9:52am: Free agent big man Andray Blatche is close to signing a deal to play in the Chinese Basketball Association, reports (translation by Enea Trapani of Sportando). The interested team is the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, who have already inked Jordan Crawford, and were in negotiations with Lester Hudson, before things fell apart.

There were rumors that the Flying Tigers were interested in signing Aron Baynes, who has also been linked to Yao Ming’s Shanghai Sharks. According to, Xinjiang’s management confirmed the addition of a big man who participated in the FIBA World Cup, but officials denied the deal was with Baynes, so it looks like Blatche is their target.

Blatche is an unrestricted free agent after averaging 11.2 PPG and 5.3 RPG in 22.2 minutes per contest with an 18.8 PER for the Nets last season. The Heat, Raptors, and Clippers had all been rumored to be interested in the 6’11”, 27 year-old. If Blatche does indeed sign with the CBA, he would still have an opportunity to sign with an NBA team late in the season, since the Chinese League ends play in February, with the playoffs generally concluding in mid-to-late March. For more on Blatche, check out Chuck Myron’s Free Agent Stock Watch profile on the player.

Heat Rumors: Douglas-Roberts, Crawford, Okafor

The Heat have far outpaced all other teams in free agent spending this summer, as I chronicled earlier this week. Miami is limited to the minimum salary at this point, which wouldn’t add to the total of more than $220MM that appears on my list, since it didn’t take into account anyone on a minimum-salary deal. Still, Pat Riley and company continue to scour the market, as Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald and Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel detail. We’ll highlight the latest here:

  • The Heat worked out Chris Douglas-Roberts, as Jackson writes in his latest dispatch after reporting late last month that the team was interested in the five-year veteran. Miami, which is looking to add a shooting guard, also worked out Jordan Hamilton, according to Jackson, though Hamilton instead wound up signing with the Raptors.
  • Miami has reached out to Jordan Crawford, too, and while the Heat like the former first-round pick, as Jackson writes, it doesn’t appear he’s reached the audition stage. Jackson confirms Miami’s interest in Leandro Barbosa.
  • There are other teams in the mix for Barbosa, but they, like the Heat, want to see if he can stay healthy as well as how he performs for Brazil in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, Winderman writes. The Sun Sentinel scribe believes the Heat would choose Crawford over Barbosa if it came to that.
  • Riley and his staff have been eyeing Emeka Okafor and Ekpe Udoh, as finding a big man has been team’s other focus, Jackson reports. There have been question marks about Okafor’s health, and while he and Udoh have also drawn interest from the Clippers, there hasn’t been much chatter this summer surrounding either former top-10 pick.
  • The Heat made preliminary inquiries about Andray Blatche and Jason Maxiell, according to Jackson. Miami has been reluctant to sign Blatche in the past out of concern about his maturity level and behavior, as Jackson wrote a couple of weeks ago, but apparently the team won’t definitively rule him out. The market for Maxiell has been quiet since the Magic let him go on the Fourth of July.
  • Agent David Falk spoke with the Heat about Elton Brand, but it’s unlikely that the 35-year-old will join Miami for this season, Jackson says. The Hawks and Knicks reportedly had their sights set on Brand as free agency began, but Brand rumors have otherwise proven scarce.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Andray Blatche

It’s worth wondering why Andray Blatche is without an NBA contract in the middle of August. He’s 27 years old, stands 6’11”, and is coming off a season in which he averaged 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game with an 18.8 PER for a Nets team that went to the conference semifinals. He’s an unrestricted free agent, without the encumbrance of restricted free agency that’s holding up deals for Eric Bledsoe and Greg Monroe and without the strong leads on a job that Shawn Marion has. He’s not considering retirement like Ray Allen. There are questions about his character, dating back to his pre-amnesty days with the Wizards and reverberating most recently in a report about the Heat’s longstanding reservations about his maturity and behavior. Another dispatch asserted that Blatche’s midseason absence this past year was a de facto suspension meted out by then-coach Jason Kidd, a punishment that left Nets management impressed with the coach. But such trouble has not kept lesser players out of the league.

There could easily be more than meets the eye to Blatche’s locker room issues, but those reports may also be the extent of it. His continued free agency might stem simply from a demand for more money than the market is bearing. He turned down a player option to stay with the Nets for a salary of nearly $1.438MM, slightly more than the minimum, so he probably envisioned a raise, which wouldn’t be easy to find at this stage of free agency. He’s been linked to a few teams in some form or fashion this summer, dating back to a mid-June report that he and the Pelicans had mutual interest, though a follow-up indicated that Blatche was the only party eyeing such an arrangement. Around the start of July, Blatche had apparently been telling many around the league that he would end up in New Orleans, but there’s been no movement toward that end.

The Raptors were reportedly to have met with Blatche about a week or so into free agency, but Toronto appears to have moved on. There was a report that he would work out along with a few other big men of note for the Clippers, but agent Andy Miller quickly dismissed that as false. Whether or not the Clippers enter the picture legitimately at any point, it seems a reunion with the Nets isn’t forthcoming. Blatche was the only one of the team’s free agents to whom GM Billy King declined to reach out at the start of free agency, a strong signal that there’s little, if any, interest from the club.

That might have more to do with the emergence of Mason Plumlee and the expected return to health of Brook Lopez than any shortcoming of Blatche’s. Kidd is gone, having jumped ship to Milwaukee, so any clash between Blatche and his coach is no longer germane. Brooklyn had its greatest success last season playing small ball, so an abundance of big men probably isn’t what the team has in mind.

Blatche’s minutes and production increased slightly this past season over 2012/13, his first in Brooklyn, though his PER and per-minute output went a hair in the other direction. He’s still at an age that suggests he’s entering his prime, if he’s not already there, and he still has a few more years before any precipitous decline should start to set in. He’s not the shot blocker he was in his early 20s, swatting fewer shots per game last season than he did in any season except for when he only saw 6.0 MPG as a rookie. Still, his defensive win shares have exceeded his offensive win shares every season of his career, demonstrating his impact when the other team has the ball. The Nets were slightly better defensively when Blatche was off the court than when he was on it in each of the past two seasons in terms of points allowed per 100 possessions, according to, but each year the team’s net rating went up when he played.

The 49th overall pick from 2005 seems to be a plus on the floor, so unless teams have universally decided his off-court reputation is simply too much to bear, which doesn’t seem likely, there are certain to be NBA teams in touch with Miller as the summer wanes. The Lakers joined a list of 11 other teams I recently outlined as being limited to paying the minimum salary for this coming season, but while Blatche’s options for a non-minimum deal are dwindling, they aren’t gone yet.

There’s no urgency for either Blatche or teams to come to an agreement with training camp still about six weeks off, and as the Paul George injury showed, a need could crop up at any time to spur the market for someone who can fill it. The unresolved situations of Bledsoe and — for Blatche in particular — Monroe loom over part of the landscape. So, perhaps a team like the Hawks, who have cap space and have been linked to Monroe, could look to Blatche should the Pistons big man end up elsewhere. It was a little surprising to see his agent so quickly deny the Clippers rumor, so maybe there’s traction with other teams that such news would jeopardize, though that’s just my speculation. In any case, Blatche probably would find a guaranteed minimum-salary deal to sign this week if he wanted to, but he’s probably best advised to continue to wait until the pace of the market quickens and teams are more aggressively filling their rosters for the season ahead.