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NBA free agency: Nets, Andray Blatche reach verbal agreement

He'll sign with the Brooklyn Nets, but the majority of Andray Blatche's income will still come from the Washington Wizards.


Andray Blatche was more than happy to agree on a small contract to remain with the Brooklyn Nets, where he's seen a career renaissance -- although the Washington Wizards won't be pleased.

Blatche agreed to a one year, $1.4 million contract with the Nets, according to Howard Beck of the New York Times. The Nets were able to sign him for less than 120 percent of the veteran's minimum, allowing them to preserve the mini mid-level exception for other players.

But why would Blatche, a productive member of Brooklyn's squad last year, averaging over 10 points in under 20 minutes a game, agree to sign for so little?

More: Nets Daily

The Wizards decided to amnesty Blatche after a 2011-2012 season where he was ineffective on the court, eventually asking Blatche to stop coming to games until he was in shape. Although that saved them cap space, they still owe Blatche the money they agreed to pay him in a contract in 2010 -- that's $7.8 million this year, $8.5 million the next. The amount of money teams pay Blatche this year and next year will be subtracted from the Wizards' payments. So, essentially: Blatche gets paid roughly the same amount regardless of what his actual salary is, but the less he gets in actual salary, the more the Wizards have to pay.

As Blatche said in March, he intends to take full advantage of that by signing for as little as possible to get payback on the team that told him they'd rather pay him not to play. Game, Blatche.

Blatche, only 26 years old despite already having eight years of NBA experience under his belt, saw his numbers and efficiency increase with Brooklyn after being told to leave by Washington. The big man scored a career-high 16.8 points per game in 2010-2011, but that was cut in nearly half in 2011-2012 when he had a dismal 8.5 points per game on 9.4 shots. He scored 10.3 points per game this past season, good for fourth on the Nets as he managed more points on less shots in fewer minutes than he had played the year before with Washington.

He should continue to fill a bench role as an offensive-minded big man because his nifty, unique skillset for a 6'11 guy often came in handy for a Nets squad whose second unit lacked any real scoring punch. They've bolstered their frontcourt, too, by adding Kevin Garnett last week.

Blatche and Garnett have a bit of a history, by the way, including the one time Garnett nearly made Blatche cry.

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