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NBA / Sep 3, 2010 / 1:00 pm

The Wizards’ best game plan for Andray Blatche

Andray Blatche (photo. Keith Allison)

One positive from last season for the Washington Wizards is the fact that they have made the first step in the pursuit of better days.

By trading away Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood around the February deadline, the franchise closed the book on a subpar chapter of its history. This turn of events led to another bright spot for their fan to smile about. The Jamison trade allowed always-promising Andray Blatche to show some life in his fifth season. Handed a feature role as the starting power forward, in his last 32 games Blatche averaged 22.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. The Wizards are hoping for that kind of production to continue to ensure a positive development process for the future. I beg to differ. If Blatche is able to keep up the numbers at the start of next season, the Wizards should ship him out of town as soon as possible while his value remains high.

With the current trend of superstar players asking out of their current situations, their respective teams are looking for prospects in return. Blatche just turned 24 last month, so he definitely falls into that category. He still has a lot of years ahead of him. With his size, mobility and skills, he can be an All-Star. Or at least that’s the selling point. If the Nuggets decided to ship Carmelo Anthony close to home, Blatche could be a player of interest they’d want in return.

So why wouldn’t the Wizards just keep him? Blatche has worn out his welcome with the franchise. His off-court issues have become all too common during his time in Washington. On more than one occasion, these problems have spilled over into his on-court performance. How can we forget the incident last season when he refused coach Flip Saunders‘ order to check into a game? It’s clear a change of scenery is need for the big man.

As long as he performs well, Andray’s value should be high enough to bring in some good players to run with D.C. building blocks John Wall and JaVale McGee. If they decide to sell on Blatche, even if they don’t get a superstar, the Wizards can definitely bring in pieces to make their team better. With Gilbert Arenas and Josh Howard on their roster, one more productive veteran should be all they need to sneak into the bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoffs.

This league is all about striking while the iron is hot. With Andray’s past inconsistencies, the Wizards don’t know how long he will stay hot. It is all about timing for this to work. Making the right deal at the right time can make or break the season in Washington.

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  • Ray

    Hmmm, yes this is definitely interesting. Personally I think the Wiz should hold on to Blatche, but with him gone my boy Yi would get the starting spot. So let’s just say that somehow the Wiz move Blatche and maybe Howard for Carmelo. The wiz would have a starting lineup of Wall, Arenas, Carmelo, Yi and Javale McGee. That sounds damn good to me. Personally I’d try to move Arenas too for better suited shooting guard or even start Hinrich at the SG. Anyway, the Wizards are looking pretty good for the next few years.

  • Marcus

    Blatche is not a team player, he’s selfish and will likely ruin a teams chemistry. If he gets an attitude adjustment he could average about 20 and 10 as a starter

  • Berg

    “If they decide to sell on Blatche, even if they don’t get a superstar, the Wizards can definitely bring in pieces to make their team better. With Gilbert Arenas and Josh Howard on their roster, one more productive veteran should be all they need to sneak into the bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoffs.”

    Right cause it is all about “sneaking” into the playoffs? You don’t ship out a young player entering his prime. Also, you don’t write articles without doing any research on the pulse of the fan base or philosophy of the owner. Wiz fans are not sick of Blatche and Leonsis is not in the business of trading young and cheap talent.

  • Average Jose

    I agree, I think he should be traded. I’m a huge Wiz fan but this guy is going to cause them heartache. He is fine if you have strong leadership and older vets to keep him in line. But if he gets a ton of minutes and starts to feel that he is “the man” his ego is going to explode and take down the team. If they keep him, just watch.

  • karizmatic

    I’d give him one more year, at least half the season to see how he pans out as a starter. I like Blatche and I like the current Wizards as a darkhorse team. With a team that has been so up and down in the past couple of seasons I think it’s ok to be an unknown commodity right now and with Wall, Arenas, Thornton, Blatche and McGee, plus some young guys like Nick Young, and with Howard possibly coming back from injury after all star break I think this squad could make some noise.

    Granted EVERYTHING must go right for them for this to happen, but I think if you’re going to gamble on a roster this might be the one to gamble on. I’d give them a half a season and just see what happens.

  • karizmatic

    Oh and the Wizards will most likely be my team on 2k11, just so I can see what I can do with them.

  • @

    “This turn of events led to another bright spot for their fan to smile about.”

    LOL at “their fan”. Simple typo probably, Freudian slip maybe, but they might only have one fan left after what they’ve gone through.

    I’m sure John Wall alone will earn them a few more fans. Like pre-injury Strasburg did for the Nationals.

  • Robmo35

    Dumbest column I have ever read in Dime. Blatche is 24 with tremendous upside. Stupid idea

  • Shiptar

    Dime you are on a hot streak of stupid articles, so why don’t you just suggest a trade Blatche straight for Carmelo. And tell us that denver should bite..

  • Tom Donahue

    The internet has certainly provided an opportunity for anyone with a biased opinion to mouth-off. It’s just too bad that there are no longer editors that demand that the facts are correct before publishing. Casey Mack had to have gotten his opinion of Andray Blatche from reading other uninformed media talking/writing-heads. Blatche did not refuse to re-enter the Bobcats game. If Casey Mack had been there and was paying attention he would have seen that. I was there. I was close enough to see what transpired. Subsequently, I had the opportunity to ask Andray about it, and he said no one asked him to go back into the game and he was surprised when he didn’t play in the second half. Does Dime have editors? If so, do they get paid? If so, they should be fired.

    Once the me-ball duo of Jamison and Butler were shipped off and Andray got the minutes, he demonstrated that he was the leader of the team during the last 32 games of the season. Just watching the interaction of the players, it is obvious that Andray is well-like and respected by his teammates. His play during those last 32 games also demonstrated that dispite double and triple-teams, he was able be highly successful. Wizard fans are anxious to see what the team can accomplish with a real point guard and a potent scorer like Arenas to make that open shot when Andray passes out of the double-teams.

  • bryan

    Blatche has turned the corner, he hurt himself WORKING OUT this summer. He has said many times this past summer that he’s ready to put everything behind him and be the player he knows he can be. He’s ready to be a star.

  • “Tha Boddy” Arenas Returns

    Blatche showed what he could do but how couldn’t the Wizards trade him if Denver asks for him in a Carmelo trade?If the Wizards aren’t getting Carmelo they should keep Blatche and enjoy his maturity

  • HHarris

    The National media does seem to enjoy bashing the Wizards,
    but this article is off-base. Blatche is quite consistent
    on offense and a willing and competent defender. He’s also an excellent-unselfish passer. He can handle and has
    a nice jump shot. Not afraid to mix it up inside. An all
    around talent whose not yet in his prime. Blatche should
    be part of the Wizards core. I was actually waiting to see what the team would be like with Blatche and Gilbert
    on the floor at the same time….and that was before they
    won the right to draft John Wall!! Here’s hoping the
    Wizards build their roster in-house.

  • chronwell

    Thanx Tom D for explaining that.Its nothig wrong with blogges throwintheir opinions out there. Only an idiotis gonna accept it as gospel. Thats why one should read comments cuz half the time, ppl in the comments know more than the writer of the post and that goes for more than just sports or music. I like Dray’s game but if he can bring us a vet who can help inthe 2nd half of the year, why not trade him?

  • david

    Fools,

    BLATCHE = FUTURE STAR

    The man was SHOT IN THE CHEST. Thats at least a year-2 yr setback. He’s now 24 and pushing all-star caliber. Since he recovered from the shooting he’s improved a lot every year.

    If you could trade him for carmello straight up I’d do it, but don’t call him an under achiever.

  • What?

    This article makes absolutely no sense. Blatche has acted up a bit but you are the ONLY person claiming he’s worn out his welcome. Also please explain why the Wizards would want to trade him to “sneak into the bottom half of the Eastern Conference playoffs”? Is that the franchises ultimate goal? To sneak into the playoffs? One would think that they would want to build a team that can consistently compete for the future. NO disrespect, but poor article.

  • Stickz

    Mr. Leonsis has made it crystal clear that he doesn’t believe championship teams are made through trading for superstar players. So, sounds good, but it’s a pipe dream. Why would we want to build a team that loses every year in the playoffs, anyway?

  • Mark Riggs

    Amazing to me how many so called NBA “experts” and columnists don’t know the CBA rules pertaining to trades. To make trades in the NBA, you must match salaries. This isn’t MLB or the NFL.

    Denver wants expiring contracts, draft picks and/or young players in any deal involving Carmello. I’m not saying that Denver wouldn’t be interested in Blatche – only that a trade wouldn’t work.

    There is NO WAY the Wizards can trade for Carmello Anthony without involving either Gilbert Arenas (and his $80 MILLION) or Kirk Hinrich (and his $27 MILLION) – and Denver doesn’t want either player.