Josh Newman, SNYNets.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Nevermind the fact that the Washington Wizards literally paid him to go away, the low moment for Andray Blatche after he was amnestied on July 17 was when he cleared waivers and no one wanted him.
Despite not having a team, Blatche continued to work out through the rest of the summer and into the fall until the Brooklyn Nets came to the rescue with a veteran’s minimum deal on Sept. 12.
Despite the non-guaranteed contract, Blatche, along with fellow-amnesty victim and non-guaranteed small forward Josh Childress, was a mortal lock to make the roster. With the news becoming official on Saturday morning that undrafted rookie guards James Mays and Carleton Scott were waived, both Blatche and Childress will officially be on the opening night roster on Thursday when the Nets take on the Knicks.
“Still, nothing is guaranteed, I have to continue to work and get better,” said Blatche, who was back at practice Saturday morning after sitting out Friday with the flu. “This is only my second organization, but compared to the Washington Wizards, this is completely different. Everything here is made for the players. I love it here.”
The Wizards gave Blatche a five-year, $35 million extension in the days leading up training camp in 2010. However, conditioning and off-court issues eventually drove the Wizards to amnesty him this past summer.
Despite a checkered history, the potential to be an offseason steal and a key guy off the bench for head coach Avery Johnson are there. He holds career averages of 9.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, In 2010-11, his first season after he signed his contract extension, Blatche averaged career highs of 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds.
“They deserve to make the team, they’re consistent, they bring a necessary skill-set,” Johnson said of Blatche and Childress. “Both of them have been doing a great job being a part of our second unit. We anticipated them being on our roster unless somebody came out of left field. Now, the real work begins.”
Williams, Childress sit
Deron Williams sat for a second straight day with left ankle synovitis—an inflammation of tissue in the ankle. Williams received a cortisone shot on Thursday and said on Saturday that he is feeling better. He plans to practice on Sunday.
Childress was limited on Saturday with a sprained left ankle.
Hurricane Contingency Plan
With Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the tri-state area, Johnson has changed his practice plans for the next couple of days.
Instead of being off on Sunday and practicing on Monday, the Nets will have an all-out scrimmage on Sunday and take Monday off.
The latest weather reports have the worst of this potentially catastrophic storm, dubbed ‘FrankenStorm,’ to arrive in the area on Monday.
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA.