The Wolves need a big man. Andray Blatche needs a job.
A match made in heaven.
But seriously, it would be wise for the Timberwolves to pursue the veteran big man. Blatche has drawn little interest throughout the league after opting out of his contract with the Brooklyn Nets. Before free agency, the New Orleans Pelicans and Andray Blatche showed mutual interest but nothing has transpired thus far during the actual off-season.
Blatche and the Toronto Raptors had a meeting a couple of weeks ago but no contracts have been offered, and no rumors have really surrounded the ex-Net since that meeting. It seems like Blatche is open to returning to Brooklyn as well, but the Nets have not made any moves.
At this point, the Wolves front court depth looks like this:
PF: Kevin Love, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
C: Nikola Pekovic, Gorgui Dieng, Ronny Turiaf
Less than stellar, and the possibility of Kevin Love being traded is always present. The depth of the Wolves’ front court depends on who they receive from the Cavaliers (If Love is traded there). Andrew Wiggins is the biggest name in discussions at this time with Anthony Bennett also a possibility.
Wiggins is a SG/SF and would not be seeing time at PF. Bennett, on the other hand, is a SF/PF and could see some time as a big. However, Bennett had an awful rookie season and cannot be counted on to contribute.
This leaves Dieng and Turiaf as options for the Wolves’ starting PF… Turiaf is a bench player (and a natural center), and Dieng, who did break out in the latter part of last season is also natural center and may not fit at PF.
Mar 28, 2014; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets center Andray Blatche (0) during the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Blatche, a nine-year veteran, had a pretty good season with the Nets putting up 11.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.5 apg and an impressive 18.85 PER. Blatche was tasked with backing up Kevin Garnett (I miss him in MN) and had an even bigger role when Brook Lopez went down with a season ending foot injury.
Blatche is position-less in the front court standing at 6’11, 260 pounds which is a valuable asset.
Blatche was drafted straight out of high school by the Washington Wizards in the second round of 2005 draft. Blatche suited up for the Wizards until the 2012 season, when he was victim of the amnesty clause. Blatche was told he was a “cancer in the locker room” by the Wizards and that was why he was amnestied. Never mind the the Gilbert Arenas-related gun incidents and the turmoil in the organization as a whole.
Blatche was also arrested for reckless driving back in 2008. However it is important to note, ever since Blatche was amnestied he hasn’t been in trouble and has played with a chip on his shoulder. After he signed with the Nets, Blatche choose the number ‘0’ to be put on to his jersey. Andray Blatche had this to say on choosing zero “Zero reminds me of how everybody gave up on me.” That is the definition of having something to prove.
Blatche was a big part of the Nets locker room and bench in the previous season.
He is also likely not to demand an exorbitant amount of money due to two reasons. The low interest teams have shown in Blatche and he is still making $8.4 million in the upcoming season from the Wizards.
What does Blatche bring to the table? His silky smooth handles and underrated athleticism would be welcome into the Wolves’ front court rotation.
While he can act like a point guard at times and make a few dumb decisions, overall Blatche would be a fantastic, underrated pickup by the Wolves.