Moke Hamilton, SNYNets.com
NEW YORK — On Monday, it was reported by FoxSportsOhio.com that Andray Blatche's name has come up in trade discussions between the Brooklyn Nets and at least one other team in the league, the Portland Trailblazers.
According to the report, the Nets are interested in trading Blatche for a draft pick. The Nets own their own first round pick in this year's upcoming draft, but a move to trade Blatche for a future pick could be seen as a proactive maneuver for the Nets. In the short-term, the team would become weaker, but the Nets may feel that Blatche has played himself out of their price range.
This past summer, Blatche signed a one-year, veteran's minimum deal with the Nets and will become an unrestricted free-agent in July. Because the Nets will not have Blatche's "Bird rights," and are expected to be above the NBA's salary cap next season, the amount of money it may offer Blatche once he hits the market may be below his market value.
The most the Nets could offer Blatche as a free-agent this summer would be a three-year deal worth approximately $9.8 million. That would require the club to use a salary cap exception commonly known as the "mini" mid-level exception or "tax payer" exception.
It is very possible that Blatche could receive a more lucrative offer from another team, so while trading him may hurt the team in the immediate future, such a move could make some sense.
On Tuesday, Blatche was listed as a game-time decision against the Lakers and wasn't formally announced as being available until about 90 minutes prior to tip-off time. Though Blatche played, he managed to give P.J. Carlesimo's team just five minutes. He scored two points on 1-of-4 shooting and grabbed two rebounds.
Blatche spoke with SNY.tv afterward. When asked whether or not he was aware of the trade rumors, Blatche said he was not. "No, to be honest with you, I didn't hear nothing about it," he said.
He claimed this his poor performance had nothing to do with the rumors and had no thoughts as to being traded. "I didn't hear anything about any trade, so I couldn't tell you," he added.
Blatche understands that at this time of the year, trade speculation comes with the territory. "I can't worry about trade rumors," he said. "I can't worry at all. As long as you're doing your job, whatever happens, happens. You can't worry about something that you don't have any control over."
Blatche also told SNY.tv that he doesn't believe the Nets—who have now lost four of their last six—are struggling because of trade rumors.
"We're not really struggling," he said. "We'll be alright, we just gotta continue to play hard and stay together. We'll be okay."
The Nets are in Detroit tonight to battle the Pistons. The team will try to get back on the winning track, even in the midst of the trade speculation.