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Andray Blatche returns to Nets on the cheap

The Brooklyn Nets can thank the Washington Wizards for the cheap, one-year contract Andray Blatche has verbally agreed to sign.

Jonathan Daniel

The Brooklyn Nets reached a verbal agreement Monday evening with Andray Blatche on a one-year, $1.4 million contract for next season. Why so little? Well, they have the Washington Wizards to thank.

Thanks to a complicated salary formula first uncovered by Nets Daily, Blatche will actually make the Wizards pay more than simply the difference between his current salary and the $7.8 million he would have made with the Wizards if they didn't use the amnesty clause to release him. The less Blatche made on his new contract with the Nets, the more the Wizards would have to pay him. This was something Blatche knew well, as he told the New York Daily News in March.

In the end, Blatche followed through on his "threat."

By signing for only $1.4 million, Blatche is forcing the Wizards to pay more than they would have if he signed somewhere else for the full mid-level exception, taxpayer mid-level exception or bi-annual exception. (The specific amounts are posted in this Bullets Forever post). Blatche will make less total money than he would have if he signed a bigger contract elsewhere, but the taste of sweet revenge was too much to pass up.

Of course, there are more altruistic reasons for Blatche taking less money. The Nets now retain possession of the taxpayer mid-level exception, which they are expected to use to sign sharpshooter Kyle Korver. If this were any other situation, we'd be praising Blatche's selflessness to take less to play for a winner, but his motivations appear more complex.

Regardless of his reasoning, though, the Blatche signing is a big win for the Nets. Blatche put together one of the strongest years of his career last season, emerging as an efficient bench scorer for a Nets team that badly needed scoring a punch behind Brook Lopez. Blatche's defense wasn't always great and he struggled in the postseason, but he also posted a 21.9 PER on the season while scoring nearly 20 points per 36 minutes. Flakiness or not, that's incredible value for $1.4 million.

Now, let's see how he responds to being Kevin Garnett's teammate.


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