According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat are two teams interested in free agent center Andray Blatche formerly of the Washington Wizards.
Free-agent rumble that just dribbled across the pond: Heat & Spurs among teams to express exploratory interest in free agent Andray Blatche
Blatche has had many immature issues through his career in Washington over the years, and was finally released via the amnesty clause from the Wizards last month. Blatche stands at 6’11” and averaged 8.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 1.4 turnovers per game in 26 games for the Wizards last season.
Things got so bad in Washington that he was booed numerous times on his own home floor because he publicly criticized the team early in the season. If Blatche can get his head on straight, he’s still a player that could have some potential as he’s just 25 years old. A veteran group like the Spurs or Heat could be just the situation he needs to reinvent himself.
The Spurs are a team that still needs some height in the post as their only big men taller than 6’9″ are Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, and Matt Bonner. They have 6’8″ center Boris Diaw as their starter, but with the disgruntled DeJuan Blair seeking a trade, Blatche could easily take the place of Blair. There are games where Blair isn’t needed, so if they were able to trade Blair or release him, then Blatche could take that vacant big man spot.
With either the Spurs or the Heat, Blatche wouldn’t need to make an immediate impact at first, as they’re both two established teams who already have their core’s intact. In a way, signing Blatche could be like an experiment project if you’re the Spurs, so long as he’s not seeking more than the veteran’s minimum. The Spurs rely so much on Duncan, Diaw, Splitter, and Bonner, that Blatche could ease his way with small increments of minutes throughout the season to see if he’s able to understand and perform in their system.
Blatche has two choices here, the glamorous road with the Heat, or the low-key blue collar road with the Spurs. In Miami, he gets to live in South Beach and play basketball with LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh, plus former teammate Rashard Lewis and now Ray Allen. But, Miami is also a place where he can continue to make bad decisions as the media are constantly following their every move and there’s a more popular scene for the nightlife in Miami.
In San Antonio, Blatche can learn from veteran’s in a quiet setting, where the media isn’t constantly following the players, and even during the season, they don’t get much exposure until the playoffs. The decision will ultimately be up to Blatche.
Last month, our own Kyle Boenitz wrote about whether San Antonio should entertain the idea of looking into Blatche and Boenitz had a pretty good end to his article on the whole situation.
Honestly, this guy does have some talent, it showed for about half a season. He just covers it up with all the stupid stuff he does. Maybe with a professional organization and a disciplined coaching staff like the Spurs, he could finally reach his full potential. Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Spurs could get this guy for next to nothing and then turn him into something special?
Now I’m not saying this could, should or would happen, but maybe in the land of fantasy hypotheticals it’s fun to think about. At the very least, he’d be entertaining for six weeks before Coach Pop kicked him to the curb. The Spurs have prided themselves on smart personnel moves for years, maybe it’s time to try something stupid.