The Wizards have aggressively tried to deal Blatche in advance of the March 15 trade deadline, according to multiple league sources, but struggled to find any takers. Blatche is certainly open to a change of scenery, according to a person close to him.
The team discussed dealing Blatche to Charlotte last month for Tyrus Thomas but were rejected, according to two people with knowledge of the situation. Blatche is still owed nearly $23 million after this season, and rival teams have expressed concern about his conditioning and character.
Blatche is shooting 38 percent this year and his game overall has regressed as he has been battling an injury to his calf. And that is not what is scaring teams off — it’s an effort and attitude that nobody else wants to bring into their locker room.
The Wizards have had a lot of those guys over the years. There’s a reason Blatche and others before him (Kwame Brown) have been booed by local fans. Passion and effort can make up for a lot in fans minds, not showing those things leads to anger from the fan base.
Don’t expect the Wizards to have much luck finding a trading partner — Blatche has three guaranteed years left on his deal. Unless he shows market improvement on the court, he will be very hard to trade (and if he were to show that improvement would you want to trade him.
Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday’s home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid’s return. Now, that isn’t the case.
Embiid had been the biggest ray of hope for Philadelphia, but the 76ers shouldn’t chase watchability down the stretch. Sit Embiid until he’s fully healthy and secure the best draft position possible.
Maybe Embiid’s body just can’t handle the rigors of NBA basketball, but Philadelphia has no choice but to hope for the best with him and Simmons. And hope the nail the their first-round pick this year and get the Lakers’ first-rounder.
This could still be a dangerously good team in coming years. The Process created that potential.
But the threat of injury always looms around the corner, maybe especially so for Embiid.
Report: Knicks’ Joakim Noah likely to miss rest of season after knee surgery
Prepare for the talk next fall about Noah feeling refreshed and ready to help the Knicks.
But this surgery won’t reverse the underlying problem: Noah is a 31-year-old big man with heavy mileage. He can manage his knees, but it’s probably too late for him to regain enough athleticism to reliably contribute.
Just three years and $55 million+ remaining on his contract, which already looked like the NBA’s worst deal and is now even more unfavorable.
Buddy Hield: Vivek Ranadive told me at Kings-Pelicans games, ‘We’re still going to get you’