Andray Blatche played in all 82 games for the Brooklyn Nets during the 2012-13 NBA regular season, and on Monday evening, he reportedly re-upped for a chance at another perfect attendance mark with the franchise next year.
According to Peter Vecsey, Blatche has agreed to cancel all of his remaining free-agent meetings and agree to a new contract with the Nets for the 2013-14 season.
Howard Beck of The New York Times confirmed Vescey's report with a salary number the two sides agreed upon during negotiations:
As mentioned above, Blatche played in every game for the Nets last year, including all seven during their ill-fated series loss to the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs.
He averaged 10.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 19 minutes per game for head coaches P.J. Carlesimo and Avery Johnson, numbers right around his career averages of 9.9, 5.4 and 22.1, respectively, in eight career NBA seasons.
The news of a quick re-up with the Nets might come as a surprise to some, including ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard, who reported just minutes before the news broke from Brooklyn that Blatche apparently had other suitors on the free-agent market:
That report notwithstanding, Blatche will rejoin a Nets team that is expected to undergo a complete overhaul for the second straight offseason.
As noted in this piece from David Aldridge of NBA.com, the Nets and Boston Celtics have agreed to the framework of a trade that would send Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Brooklyn for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries and other accompanying pieces.
The trade would give Brooklyn a starting lineup of Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Pierce, Garnett and Brook Lopez to open up next season with, but as good teams and fans know, you can't win without a supporting cast to occasionally pick up the slack.
Blatche will likely join Reggie Evans as the team's primary backups for Garnett and Brook Lopez when the 2013-14 season begins, a role he performed quite well in during his first season in New York.
The Washington Wizards amnestied Blatche last summer, ending a seven-year partnership between the franchise and the 26-year-old Connecticut high school star. Washington drafted Blatche with a second-round pick in 2005, and his best year with the Wizards came during the 2010-11 season, when he averaged 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in just under 34 minutes per game.
Although Blatche appears destined for a complimentary role in Brooklyn, it's clear that the franchise is working toward being a contender in both the Eastern Conference and the entire NBA when things kick off this October, and you can't do that without solid role players.
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