Amnesty Blatche? Don't count on it

Amnesty Blatche? Don't count on it
July 10, 2012, 1:15 pm
Share This Post

Within minutes after learning of plans to sit Andray Blatche due to hisout-of-shapeness, the word "amnesty" ferociously rose to prominence among the WashingtonWizards fan base. The Cinnamon Twins, traded. Rashard Lewis had a buyout clause either theWizards or another team would exercise. Give Blatche and is ill-advisedcontract extension their walking papers - plus a check for 23 million - and asadly comical era of Wizards basketball could be put to rest, so the message boards say.As a sidelined Blatche rides the recumbent bike to nowhere and the teamtraded for two veteran frontcourt types in return for parting with Lewis, onthe surface, some might think indeed the final part of the get out of Dodge trilogyis almost upon us. Starting on Wednesday, when the NBA is truly back open forbusiness, the Wizards have one week to makethis decision.
Yet, ever since they veered away from stroking Lewis a check and toward a wewant something for our money approach, there has been increased skepticismabout a Blatche-ian amnesty departure (in my house anyway). I've hintedat alternative options to help brace the diehards who simply cannot fathomthe "Captain" donning his No. 7 Wizards jersey again. But hey, I barely balance my checkbook and don't study salary cap scenariosfor breakfast. My financial sensibilities can be ignored. Those belonging to Larry Coon, not so much. He's the man responsible for the incrediblydetailed NBA Salary Cap FAQ,an online document NBA writers dealing with such financial matters keepopen on their browser at all times to help make them appear smart.With the zero hour almost upon the Wizards and the other NBA teams with theamnesty arrow still part of their decision-making quiver, one of basketball'sleading salary cap voices offeredhis amnesty-using take. The Wizards section is brief and to the point(and since its an ESPN Insidercolumn, it's cut and pasted below). The bolding is my doing.Washington Wizards
Most likely amnesty cut: None
How likely to use amnesty this season: Outside shot
Other amnesty candidates: Andray Blatche
Notes: Washington will keep its options open, but its most likely action is tostand pat.For comparison, Coon lists players in the "most likely amnestycut" category for eight teams. Of those eight, some like Philadelphia'sElton Brand and Minnesota's Darko Milicic are deemed slam dunks for a payoffs. Others like Metta World Peace, closer to a 50-50 call. But, in Coon's mind, there is at least a debatehappening over certain contractually untenable hoopsters.In Washington, he doesn't seem to think that's the case.None of this means Blatche will return for an eighth season with the Wizardsfranchise. There could be a trade, but that's a long shot at best. That path wouldalmost assuredly require taking on an equally onerous contract in return. Theteam could decide to Keyshawn him, telling Blatche to stay away as the TampaBuccaneers once said to their attitude-fueled wide receiver.Blatche could be with the team at training camp. Maybe he's simplyburied on the depth chart, one currently filled with seven viable oron-the-come frontcourt options. Maybe the franchise's financial folk suggest holding hisnow bloated contract because the more time passes, its trade chip valueincreases as other NBA team grapple with future luxury tax hell. Maybe the team simply keeps him in the fold, hoping a wave of maturity washesover the 25-year-old. Its not as if Blatche isnt talented. He went for 17 and8 per night not so long ago. Perhaps in time he sees the light, the teamregains faith and the organization gets a return back on its investment.Pick an outcome, whatever works for your sensibilities. Just dont assume the amnestyoption is one of them.