Birthday: August 22, 1986
Hometown: Syracuse, NY
Years Pro: 7
NYC the nets is yours no longer the Knicks
— andray blatche (@drayblatche) September 28, 2012
Nickname: Dray, Dray Day
Nickname His Uniform And General Waywardness Gave Him: Baltche
How He Got Here: The Nets signed Andray Blatche to a non-guaranteed training camp deal on September 12, 2012. He’s expected to make the team.
Contract: As of today, Andray Blatche's contract is non-guaranteed. The most he can sign for is the veteran's minimum for a seventh-year player, worth $1,146,337.
Andray Blatche is best described as Brooklyn digging in the dirt, hoping to find a diamond. Blatche is no stranger to personal issues in his career, having played his most prominent seasons in a tumultuous Washington Wizards clubhouse. In 2007, Blatche signed a multi-year deal that was delayed after an arrest in which Blatche solicited an undercover police officer, and for not appearing on a charge of driving without a license.
Blatche was again arrested roughly a year later in June 2008, for reckless driving and driving on a suspended license for the third time. In 2010, the Wizards fined Blatche (and three of his teammates) $10,000 for making light of Gilbert Arenas’s gun charges in a pregame huddle. He’s struggled with maturity and conditioning issues, allegedly challenged a fan to a fight on Twitter, and engaged in various issues through social media, ultimately leading to Washington exercising the amnesty clause to shed him from their roster.
Brooklyn represents the 26-year-old Blatche's chance at rebirth, and if you believe the reports, he's taking it seriously. He came to training camp having shed significant weight and has been ripping up Nets practices. Avery Johnson says Blatche has earned the backup center spot and is putting pressure on Brook Lopez. Jerry Stackhouse says there's not a center in the league that can guard him. He's always been known as a headcase that never figured out his talent This year, in Brooklyn, on a new team for the first time in his career, is his chance to realize it.
Andray Blatche has a nice jumper and ballhandling skills for a player his size, and looked impressive defending Lopez in training camp. He also has decent vision for a big man and can pass well out of the post. In preseason, Blatche impressed with his ability to rebound, score, and find seams near the rim. With the Nets lacking depth at their big spots, Blatche fills a need, that, admittedly, I don't think they need. If Blatche capitalizes on his flashes of talent, though, he certainly fills a need.
Andray Blatche's weaknesses depend on which Blatche you believe: the one that crashed and burned in Washington, or the one that's impressed the Nets since he signed. Assuming the former, Blatche relies too much on creating his own offense without the requisite skillset to do so. In his last full season, he ranked below the league average in scoring off cuts, posting up, offensive rebounds, as the roll man in the pick-and-roll, spotting up, and was worst in isolation, shooting less than 33% and ranking worst in the NBA among players with at least 150 plays in isolation. He's a porous help defender and often didn't exhibit the intensity or energy you'd expect from an NBA-level player in Washington.
There are many to choose from, both on and off the court. But since his highest point came against the 12-70 New Jersey Nets, it’s only fair that his low point does too: the time he just wanted a triple-double.
From The Coach
“He doesn’t back down from anybody. He’s a skilled player.”