From Pilipinas to Pelicans? It’s possible. Brooklyn Nets center and recently naturalized Filipino citizen Andray Blatche has a mutual interest with the New Orleans Pelicans, according to Basketball Insiders writer Alex Kennedy:
I'm hearing there is mutual interest between the New Orleans Pelicans and free-agent-to-be Andray Blatche. Keep an eye on that after July 1.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 13, 2014
A deal makes sense for both sides. The Pelicans can offer Blatche playing time, which he’s openly said is his #1 preference when looking for his next spot. The Pelicans have Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson as their only two rotation big men under contract for 2014-15, and Anderson only played 22 games after a herniated disc in his back sidelined him for the season. With Davis also missing 16 games, Blatche would both have a real opportunity to play and be an immediate upgrade over Pelicans backup big men Jason Smith and rookie Jeff Withey.
Blatche may see less playing time if he re-signs with Brooklyn, considering Brook Lopez is likely to return 100% healthy and Mason Plumlee has emerged as a competent backup center. The Nets can offer Blatche a four-year deal worth around $26 million, but the Pelicans can choose to offer more of their cap space should they decide to make a serious commitment to Blatche, who will be 28 by the time next season starts. It would be a loss for Brooklyn, but with Blatche already stating his intention to decline his player option and become a free agent, it’s no surprise that teams are starting to prep their offers.
Plus, “Blatche on Bourbon St.” is a reality show waiting to happen.
Blatche has put together two career seasons in Brooklyn, averaging 10.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.3 assists in 20.5 minutes per game over two seasons, shooting 49.4 percent from the field since being amnestied by the Washington Wizards in 2012. Blatche is not of Filipino descent.