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Terps, Hoyas, and Wizards

By: Bohlin

Every basketball fan in the metropolitan area that follows the Washington Wizards is waiting for Ted Leonsis and Ernie Grunfeld to make a judgment on what to do with Andray Blatche. The amnesty dominos have begun to fall around the league with Elton Brand and Darko Milicic being told “Thanks, but no thanks” by their former teams before being shown the door with large checks ensuring they wont come back.

The 23 million dollar question that has been the topic of many a conversation on sports radio, newspapers, blogs and around the water cooler, is whether Ted Leonsis is going to write a fat check to rid Blatche from our minds going forward. Washington has until July 17th to make a decision on Blatche’s future with this franchise. Will he be a part of this team next season? Can we convince anyone to trade for him? Would he consider a buy out of his current contract so that we the amnesty clause does not have to be used? Over the course of the next four and a half days we’ll have our answers.

Lets break these questions down one by one and, like the title of this post, assess Andray Blatche’s future with this franchise.

Will Blatche be a part of the Wizards next season?

Is it possible? In short, absolutely. I can’t imagine Leonsis is going to have any desire to cut a check for 23 million dollars to a player who had the dubious distinction of showing up in box scores with a “DNP-Conditioning” next to his name. Blatche’s career in DC has been accompanied by many ups and downs along the way. From his early escapades with Party John Ramos, to the car jacking and subsequent shooting in Alexandria, VA, to the arrest for soliciting an undercover police officer there have been many moments where Andray has made us scratch our heads and ask “What the hell is wrong with this guy?”.

There also have been some flashes of the talented player Grunfeld thought he was resigning to a 35 million dollar extension in 2010. We all know that Blatche has the physical gifts necessary for a big man to be effective in the NBA. It is the mental side of the game where he has proven that he is severely lacking. Unfortunately, there has been little shown on his behalf to make anyone think that will change anytime soon.

If Leonsis and Grunfeld brought Andray Blatche back next season there would be an uproar of disapproval from the fan base. As a whole, Wizards fans have grown tired of his antics and are ready to cut ties completely and move forward with the new, young core group of players from which we hope to build a contender. I think Blatche’s days in DC are numbered, it is just a matter of which route he takes out the door.

Bringing us to our next question; Can we convince anyone to trade for Blatche?

According to David Aldridge, the Wizards do have some options were they to move Blatche via trade. However, when you are placing a player who has all but tarnished his reputation league-wide on the trading block you aren’t going to receive much more than other teams scraps in return.

The teams and players mentioned as possibilities by Aldridge are less than mind-blowing. The Bobcats and Pistons are the teams that have allegedly shown some interest in acquiring Blatche, but they would be offering up Tyrus Thomas and Charlie Villanueava respectively. Like I said, nothing to stand up and beat your chest about if you are a Wizards fan. Neither player would provide a boost on the court or in the locker room for the Wizards while both are strapped with equally terrible contracts.

I want the franchise to get rid of Blatche as much as anyone, but were it to be at the expense of adding either of these two players I would pass 10 times out of 10. We just rid ourselves of 2/3 of the three stooges at the trade deadline last season, exchanging the one left over for an equally boneheaded, hasn’t lived up to the hype, player with the same type of bloated salary would be a disservice to John Wall, Bradley Beal and the rest of the youth movement in our Nation’s Capital.

Moving on; Would Andray Blatche consider accepting a buy-out of his current contract so that the amnesty clause would not need to be utilized?

I highly doubt it. Andray Blatche is a lot of things, but one thing I have noticed is that while he may seem inept and aloof on the basketball court, when it comes to money he wants as much as he can get his hands on. The man has shown that he enjoys living the lavish lifestyle of a well paid NBA player time and time again. Thinking that he would agree to take anything less than the 23 million dollars and change that he is owed by the Wizards is a pipe dream for the front office.

Blatche has to know that the last big payday he will receive from playing the game of basketball came in 2010 when the Wizards threw 35 million dollars at him for proving that he could put up good numbers on an abysmal team. To get rid of Blatche, which I would argue is completely and totally necessary for this team to take the next step from laughingstock of the NBA to playoff contender, it will take Leonsis swallowing his pride and pulling out his check book.

The media has spoken, NBA pundits have spoken and, most importantly, the fans have spoken (Ok, more like vociferously booed) and the general consensus is it is time for Blatche to take the All-Day Dray show to another city as soon as possible. Anything less and we will continue to spin our tires as a franchise without making any progress forward.

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