In a new series, we at The Brooklyn Game examine the players on this Nets roster that have a decision to make — and what the Nets can do. Today’s look is at Andray Blatche.
What the Nets can offer Andray Blatche:
Last summer, Andray Blatche signed a 2-year deal with the Nets with a player option for the second year for just over $2.8 million. Blatche has said publicly that he will opt out of his $1.4 million contract next season and become an unrestricted free agent.
The Nets hold Blatche’s Early Bird Rights, meaning they can offer him a four-year contract worth roughly $26 million. If the Nets want to re-sign Blatche, it won’t be another one-year deal with an option for the second year: Early Bird free agents are required to sign for a minimum of two years with their former team. (This clause prevents a team from continuing to sign a player to one-year deals until they gain the full Bird Rights of that player.)
Blatche’s situation is unique: back in 2010, he signed a contract extension through the 2014-2015 season with the Washington Wizards for just over $35.7 million. After a dismal 11’-12’ campaign, the Wizards waived Blatche under the amnesty clause, meaning they’d still have to pay his contract but he would no longer count on their cap.
Blatche went unclaimed on the amnesty waiver wire, only to be picked up by the Nets in the summer of 2012 as a free agent. With the signing, Blatche was now being paid by two teams: Brooklyn and Washington.
In the event of such an occurrence, the league has a complicated formula — called the “offset formula” — used to calculate the total amount of money that the player will be compensated for that season.
The formula states that the players’ old team pays whatever they owed the player minus the “offset amount.”
The offset amount is defined as half the difference between the players’ new salary and the league’s minimum salary for a one-year veteran. For example, if Blatche signed a contract for $3 million for the 14’-15’ season:
Offset amount: $3,000,000 – $816,482 (minimum for a 1-year veteran) / 2 = $1,091,759
Washington pays: $8,471,339 (what Washington owed Blatche in 14’-15’) – $1,091,759 = $7,379,580
New team pays: $3,000,000
Blatche’s 14’-15’ salary: $7,379,580 + $3,000,000 = $10,379,580
Blatche made it clear last summer that he wanted to spite his former team by taking less money and making the Wizards pay more. This summer though, he’ll likely be looking for a long-term deal since Washington’s amnesty payments stop after next season.
Why Andray Blatche will stay:
Blatche will stay with the Nets for two reasons: 1) length of contract and 2) comfort level.
Blatche resurrected his career in Brooklyn last season. He’s grateful to Billy King and the Nets’ front office for taking the chance. If King decides that he’d like to keep Blatche around for another three to four years, Blatche should return.
Blatche will look for long-term financial security for this summer and if he finds that the offers he fields on the open market are similar to what he receives from the Nets, he’ll stay where he’s comfortable.
Why Andray Blatche would go:
Blatche will leave if he finds better offers on the open market. If a team is willing to give Blatche a three-to-four year deal and the Nets limit their offer to just two years, I’d expect Blatche to bolt from Brooklyn.
Though he resurrected his career with the Nets, he did so under former head coach Avery Johnson. In the middle of the season, Blatche took a four game leave from the team for “personal reasons,” and Blatche’s conditioning has been an issue throughout his Nets tenure.
Andray Blatche will leave the Nets this summer. With the expectation that Brook Lopez returns to full health, Kevin Garnett doesn’t leave $12 million on the table, and Mason Plumlee takes on a larger role next season, the Nets have an overload of centers. My guess is that the Nets’ brain trust doesn’t make Blatche a substantial offer and he walks as a free agent.
Though his play was shaky at times throughout his Nets tenure, he’s earned a shot at being the full-time backup center on an NBA team. Unfortunately, that team won’t be the Nets.