A Chinese website reported Andray Blatche is headed to China to play for the Xinjiang Flying Dragons (NetsDaily, Sept. 20)
Blatche opted out of his contract with the Nets in July and was unable to land with another NBA team. Blatche's move is "a done deal," according to a NetsDaily source. Blatche didn't attract strong interest despite his FIBA World Cup performance for the Phillippines. He averaged 21.2 points (second-best in the event) and tournament-best 13.8 rebounds.
Blatche's Nets tenure was marked by controversy. A woman claimed she was sexually assaulted by Blatche's friends in his hotel room, but she said Blatche was not involved and he was not charged. Blatche took a "personal leave" from the Nets last December said to be tied to conditioning and lifestyle.
Personally, I'm shocked Blatche didn't get a deal with an NBA team. I know there were whispers he may have made some inroads with Miami at some point this offseason, a team that competed for his services both times prior to Blatche signing with the Nets, and I'm a little take aback that nothing got done. Andray and Jason Kidd struggled to see eye-to-eye last year, culminating in Kidd sending Blatche home in the middle of the season to get into shape, but there's no denying that this is a player that made a big-time impact off the bench in his time in Brooklyn. Maybe a season-long retreat to China will allow Blatche to eventually ink a contract stateside next season.