Frank Hanrahan of CSN Washington is reporting the Washington Wizards have parted ways with overweight and underachieving power forward Andray Blatche, who will be paid $23 million to go away. The Wizards are using their amnesty clause to rid themselves of Blatche, who will receive the money remaining on his contract, but will no longer count against the salary cap. Blatche will become a free agent unless some team under the cap claims him, which is extremely unlikely. The Wizards had until 5 pm today to make this move.
I support this move because it gets Blatche off the books, clearing salary cap space the team can use two years from now, but also because it just gets Blatche away from the team's young players, who have already been over-exposed to his lack of seriousness and commitment to pro basketball. Things got so bad last year that the team deactivated Blatche for the final 21 games of the season, telling him to go home. Ostensibly, the reason was lack of proper conditioning -- and there is no doubt Blatche was not in good shape to play an NBA game -- but it was Blatche's poor attitude and commitment, as much as his conditioning, that got him banished from the team. , who showed signs of turning into the powerful low post presence Blatche was meant to be, but never became. Trevor Booker, though injury-prone in his first two NBA seasons, has also shown a commitment to hard work that Blatche lacks and the team wants to find minutes for him, as well.
In the end, there are plenty of reason for Blatche to go [conditioning, commitment, presence of better players at his position] and no reasons for him to stay. The Wizards will be better off without him.