|Andray Blatche will reportedly sign with the Brooklyn Nets. (Getty Images)|
From begging for a job to joining up with the new-look Brooklyn Nets. That's a solid turnaround.
Back in August, free-agent forward Andray Blatche said he was willing to take any basketball opportunity, including the D-League, after the Washington Wizards released him using the amnesty clause earlier this summer.
On Wednesday, Yahoo Sports reported that Blatche and the Nets had "agreed in principle" on a one-year contract for the veterans minimum, with the deal to go official "early next week." The New York Times reported later Wednesday that the deal was non-guaranteed. ESPN.com also reported that the two sides were "on course" toward a deal in the coming days.
Blatche, who has been in Texas working himself back into shape with longtime NBA coach John Lucas, reportedly met with the Nets over the weekend.
Blatche, who just turned 26, brings with him significant baggage. The basement-dwelling Wizards paid him $23 million to not show up for work, and his time in Washington included multiple arrests, an incident in which he punched a teammate, spats with coaches, a long-term benching because he wasn't in shape last season, and the infamous "Lapdance Tuesday" promotion.
That said, the Nets do represent a fairly good fit. If Blatche is going to succeed in creating a second chapter for himself, it will need to come on a veteran-dominated, playoff-bound team where he can play a specific role as a productive reserve. No real pressure, no real responsibilities, no real expectations.
After a busy offseason that saw the assembly of a solid rotation that goes nine or 10 deep, the Nets are looking to bolster a relatively thin frontcourt that has been hit with injuries in the past. Their frontcourt rotation currently includes center Brook Lopez, forwards Kris Humphries and Reggie Evans and combo forward Gerald Wallace, who can play some four if necessary. If Lopez, who played just five games last season due to a foot injury, were to go down again, the Nets would be stuck playing lots of small ball.
Blatche holds career averages of 9.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game during a seven-year NBA career.