Having seen Andray Blatche play on a number of occasions over the past few years I feel confident in saying that he’s a good basketball player. He can score from either the blocks or the perimeter. He rebounds well. And if he gets hot, he can easily go for 20 and carry a team to victory.
Now should Andray Blatche be the best player on a team? Definitely not. And even if he were the second or third best player on your team there’d be no guarantee of success. But that does not mean that he wouldn’t be an asset to most teams in this league.
Blatche’s biggest weakness as a professional basketball player is, well, it’s, Andray Blatche.
His contract is not too onerous.
He is capable of averaging 13pts and 7 rebounds a game.
And did I mention he’s 6’10”?
If you called into any front office and you told them that you have a 26year old 6’10 player who’d give them 13 & 7 a night they’d likely jump at the opportunity to sign this person.
However, if you happened to lead with that you have Andray Blatche, the conversation is likely to instantly go cold.
The fear of Blatche precedes the realities of the actual player. Blatche is not the first player in this regard, and nor will he be the last. What makes escaping his own reputation more difficult for Blatche than it is for other players who’ve had to deal with this issue is that in truth Blatche is a pretty average player. He’s not like Rasheed Wallace or Vince Carter, players who arguably could have accomplished significantly more with their talents. It’s been so long since Blatche was considered a prodigy that the general public has long since forgotten any talk of him having an unsurpassable ceiling. Seven years into his career, Andray Blatche is simply Andray Blatche, and the cold hard truth is that Andray Blatche is someone most teams would rather do without.
But Blatche does not have a bad enough attitude or even perception, like say what plagued Zach Randolph and his “Jail Blazers” teammates early in his career. With Randolph you could at least talk yourself into trading for him because there was an edge to go along with the talent. There’s no such overriding edge with Blatche.
He’s essentially Joe Smith with a bad attitude.
However, if you see him play, you can’t help but wonder how Blatche would perform if he weren’t playing alongside a point guard who can make a good pass, and teammates who seem to forget one another once the ball finds its way into their hands.
How would Blatche do playing alongside Steve Nash or Chris Paul for example? How would he do as the sixth man for the Heat, Spurs, or even the Lakers?
I’m willing to bet there’s a second act in the career of Andray Blatche. And for his and The Wizards sake, that second act kicks off on March 15th.