Mavs Sources: 'Investigating' Andray Blatche
From a distance, the Dallas Mavericks have never much liked Andray Blatche. That goes for his behavior off the court and on. During his NBA years, he's dealt with arrests for “attempting to solicit sex from a female police officer” and for reckless driving. And on the court? In March of 2012, Washington benched Blatche because he was out of shape, and eventually amnestied him. In 2014, the Nets gave him a "personal leave of absence'' that was really a dismissal from the club, which then opted to not re-sign him.
So off Blatche went to China, where he averaged 31.1 points, 14.9 rebounds and five assists and even became a three-point shooter, as the 6-11 big man hit nearly 40 percent from deep. But the Xingjiang Flying Tigers didn't make the playoffs. So now he's free to roam again.
Owner Mark Cuban said from Oakland on Wednesday that the team is considering 10-day contracts, contemplating post-trade-deadline buyouts and eyeballing players coming back from China. And we believe those options are in play even if/when Jermaine O'Neal comes out of retirement to join Dallas, as the club hopes will happen.
It's unlikely that a 10-day guy will have an impact. It's absolutely possible that a buyout candidate -- maybe the Nets' Kevin Garnett, long a favorite of GM Donnie Nelson -- will be in play. But when Cuban talks about guys coming out of China, he's almost certainly talking in part about Blatche.
Indeed, a source tells DB.com on Wednesday that the Mavs are "doing their homework to find out'' if Blatche's reputation as a knucklehead is deserved.
Blatche has other supposed suitors, including, oddly, the Nets -- the same team that last soured on him, though he'd averaged better than 10 points and five rebounds in his two seasons there. ESPN reports that Miami has always been interested, though the development of Hassan Whiteside may cool that interest. Memphis has been attached here, too, though that smells like agent talk to us. (Teams were supposedly "hot on him'' last summer, too, yet no one signed him.)
Blatche has a history of saying the right thing regarding being apologetic for errors before habitually repeating those errors. There's no real evidence that "he has shown some maturity" given the fact that his dismissal from Brooklyn came less than a year ago. But in terms of raw talent? He has offensive skill that certainly makes him more of a force than at least a handful of Mavs on this roster.
But if talent was the point, Blatche wouldn't have been amnestied in Washington, wouldn't have been dismissed in Brooklyn, wouldn't have applied for citizenship in The Philippines, wouldn't have been in position to put up terrific numbers in China.
The point is reputed knuckleheaded baggage. Dallas' probably knows what its "investigation'' will uncover ... but the homework has begun.
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