Andray Blatche makes the Wizards smell his armpits (MCT via Getty Images).
The NBA's amnesty clause is a peculiar thing. Under the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, each team can release a player and take his contract off the salary cap as long as the deal was signed prior to the new CBA. The good news for the player is that he still makes the same amount of money no matter what, with any new contract he signs eating into the amount the previous team needs to pay. It works out for everyone.
However, the possibility remains that the player will harbor some bad feelings towards the team that amnestied him, because chances are the relationship ended poorly. That's exactly what's happened to Washington Wizards amnesty case and current Brooklyn Nets employee Andray Blatche, who will be a free agent once again this summer. So, ever the delight, Blatche says he's willing to take less money in a new contract so that the Wizards have to pay him more. From Stefan Bondy for the New York Daily News (via TBJ):
Typically 7-footers in their prime are in high demand, and historically they get paid more than anybody expects. But here’s why Blatche cares less about money in his next contract: he’s still getting paid by the Wizards through the 2014-15 season because he was waived via the amnesty clause. So, according to the rules of the CBA, most of the money he earns through then on his next contract will go to Washington, the team he feels abandoned him last season.
Blatche even said that gives him incentive to take less money.
“If I get a lot (in my next contract), yeah, it’s going to take pressure off the Wizards,” he said. “But that’s why I’m not going to do that.”
Blatche was owed roughly $23 million by the Wizards when he was waived, which occurred after he fell out of shape and became the fall guy for a franchise in ruin. Every team under the cap then passed on picking up Blatche, mostly because of questions surrounding his character.
Let's be blunt: this is a pretty jerky move by Blatche. He's made it abundantly clear that he doesn't look back fondly on his tenure with the Wizards. On the other hand, it's also true that they paid him a considerable amount of money and he didn't fulfill the expectations of his contract. The franchise didn't exactly make things easy for Blatche, but he also gave them few reasons to bend over backwards to make him happy.
Yet, from a purely logical perspective, there's no real reason for Blatche to take more money in his new deal. He's going to make his money no matter what, and his new salary will affect that team's salary cap situation. If he takes less, that will free the team up to make more decisions now and in the future. If Blatche signed for as much money as possible, it could limit that team's ability to compete.
So, yes, he's taking his resentment of the Wizards and using it to extract as much money from them as possible. At the same time, that decision could help his next team. In other words, a sign of immaturity has caused Blatche to do something we like to see from professional athletes. What that says about his character is anyone's guess.
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- Andray Blatche
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