If the Wizards wanted to be taken seriously as a team trying to turn the corner and become a playoff team, the franchise had to cut ties with Andray Blatche and they finally did that,usingtheamnestyprovision on the veteran forward on Tuesday.
The Wizards will still have to pay 23-million remaining on Blatche's contract but the salary will not be on the Wizards' books anymore. Blatche can continue his NBA careerelsewhere, if a team is willing to take a risk on a player who was basically deactivated the final 21 games of last season because he wasn't in good enough shape to play. That wasprobably the final straw for Blatche, who had certainly worn out his welcome with the fans in D.C. who routinely booed him when he was healthy and playing at Verizon Center.
The 6'-11" Blatche's career in D.C. was checkered with incidents on and off the court, ranging from getting suspended for a game for fighting with a teammate at a night club to refusing to enter a game. Blatche hasstruggledwith his weight and last season he appeared to be the heaviest of his 7-year NBA career and only averaged 8 points and 6 boards in just 26 games of action. Those numbers came a season after Blatche had averaged 16 points and 8 rebounds, but the team still struggled to a 23-59 mark in 2010-11.
Blatche was drafted right out of high school by current president Ernie Grunfeld in 2005 with the 49th overall pick. Blatche has averaged about 10 points and 5 rebounds in his tenure with the Wizards, which is now over.
The Wizards had to move on without Andray Blatche and they did. It was time.