Andray Blatche was a more than serviceable big off the bench for the Nets last season, and it looks as though he’ll get a chance to repeat that performance next year.
Blatche has agreed to re-sign with Brooklyn, as first reported by longtime NBA scribe Peter Vecsey. Howard Beck of the New York Times reported that it’s a one-year deal worth $1.4 million, but that won’t make up anywhere near the entirety of Blatche’s salary for next season.
After being amnestied by the Wizards before last season, Washington is still on the hook for Blatche’s salary, and like everything else spelled out in the collective bargaining agreement, there’s a complicated formula for determining just how much his former team will have to pay. In this case, it comes out to a figure in the neighborhood of $7.5 million on top of the $1.4 he’ll receive from the Nets.
The numbers and the production are nice discussion points, but the most intriguing part of all of this is how Blatche will mesh with Kevin Garnett next season, who’s notorious for demanding maximum effort and intensity from his teammates, especially on the defensive end of the floor, at all times.
Blatche has had a history of being a bit of a goof in the effort department, but entering his ninth NBA season and with Garnett coming in to regulate, you’d expect that he’d find a way to fall in line behind the leadership of one of the game’s all-time greats.
Blatche averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in just 19 minutes per game, while shooting a career-best 51.2 percent from the field for the Nets last season.
After missing two entire seasons, all signs are pointing to 2014 No. 3 overall pick Joel Embiid finally taking the court this season. Last week, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Embiid has looked great in his workouts and is on track to play in the preseason, and Embiid himself echoed that sentiment over the weekend. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Marc Narducci that he feels “100 percent.”
There’s always a possibility and fear that Embiid’s recurring foot problems will come back, but for now, all indications are that he’s feeling good and will be able to contribute this season, which should make Sixers fans excited.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.