Andray Blatche signs deal to play in China next season

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Andray Blatche was a key rotation player for a Nets team that made it to the second round of the playoffs last season, but Brooklyn made a decision fairly early on that it wasn’t interested in re-signing him in free agency.

Way back in December, Blatche missed four games due to what the team referred to as personal reasons at the time, but later it was discovered that he was suspended due to “a lack of conditioning and preparedness.”

Blatche remained unsigned as he played for the Philippines national team this summer at the FIBA World Cup, and with most teams having already spent their salary cap dollars elsewhere, he decided to give China a shot next season instead.

From ASM Sports:

Official: @drayblatche has signed a 1 year deal with the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers.

The Flying Tigers made the CBA finals last year and the club feels Andray is the final piece to a championship contender.

Andray is extremely excited to be joining a 1st-class club & looks forward to building relationships throughout the Pacific Rim.

Blatche must’ve enjoyed being one of the best players on the floor in international play, and he’ll get in the neighborhood of $2.5 million for his troubles, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The season in China ends in March, and at that point Blatche would be available to sign with a team for a stretch run into the playoffs. If all goes well overseas, expect Blatche to be back in the NBA, perhaps with a contender, before the postseason begins.

Last year in Brooklyn, Blatche averaged 11.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per contest over 73 regular season appearances.