What’s next for the Nets’ free agents?

Shaun Livingston, Deron Williams
Shaun Livingston (left) is a free agent. (AP)

Andray Blatche: Blatche exercised his option to opt out of his contract, becoming an unrestricted free agent this offseason to test his value on the market. Blatche was Brooklyn’s reclamation project, turning around from tumultuous seasons in Washington to put up the two best seasons of his career in Brooklyn. Blatche went from an amnestied disgrace to arguably the best-scoring backup in the NBA: he averaged 18.9 points per 36 minutes in the last two seasons, more than any player that played at least 140 games while starting fewer than 20.

Because he’s been with the Nets for two years uninterrupted, the team owns his Early Bird rights, meaning they can sign him to up to a four-year deal worth the league average salary with standard 4.5 percent raises. It’s not clear what that is just yet, but it’s expected to be in the ~$6 million range, equaling a contract around $26-$27 million. If he commands that on the open market, it’s a steep price to pay for a backup when the Nets will have Brook Lopez back (presumably), along with Kevin Garnett and surprise rookie Mason Plumlee already under contract.

Blatche has already reportedly piqued the interest of the New Orleans Pelicans, but that was before they struck a deal to bring over Houston Rockets backup center Omer Asik.

Final thought: It’s not clear what the market for him is just yet, but given how well he’s played in the last two seasons and his expiring amnesty contract, Blatche will look for long-term money and most likely get it. Whether or not it’s with the Nets depends on a few things: how much they trust his production going forward, how much they trust his up-and-down conditioning, and how much they trust Brook Lopez’s foot.