RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Shortly after the beginning of the free agency moratorium period, Billy King confirmed that the Nets reached out to all of their free agents — except Andray Blatche.
“No,” King said flatly, when asked specifically about if he’d contacted Blatche, after confirming that he’d contacted the rest of the team’s free agents. A source confirmed to The Brooklyn Game that the Nets won’t make Blatche an offer in free agency.
The Nets have four players hitting free agency this offseason: Blatche, Shaun Livingston, Paul Pierce, and Alan Anderson. The Nets own Blatche’s early Bird rights, meaning they can offer him a four-year deal worth the league average salary.
But the Nets soured on Blatche, given his issues with conditioning and inconsistent play. In December, Blatche was internally suspended from the team for four games by then-head coach Jason Kidd.
The Nets already have significant depth at center, with Brook Lopez returning to a rotation that includes NBA sophomore Mason Plumlee and 20-year veteran Kevin Garnett.
Blatche was Brooklyn’s major reclamation project: after getting amnestied by Washington one year into a four-year contract, the Nets picked Blatche up for a veteran’s minimum contract and watched him turn in the two best seasons of his career. Blatche averaged 18.3 points per 36 minutes in two seasons, the highest of any player with at least 140 games played and fewer than 20 starts.
There were rumors earlier in the offseason that Blatche and the New Orleans Pelicans had mutual interest, but that was before the Pelicans struck a deal for Houston Rockets center Omer Asik, likely filling that role. Blatche later put up an Instagram post indicating his desire to return to the Nets if the two sides could strike a deal, which he later deleted.