With the trade deadline less than 24 hours away, the Wizards are still working the phones to alter the roster, but as one team source said, “Need partners to dance.”
So far, the Wizards haven’t been able to find anyone willing to step on the dance floor. The Wizards have aggressively tried to move Andray Blatche for several weeks but Blatche said he expects to be in New Orleans when the team takes the court on Thursday. Coach Randy Wittman also said that he plans on having Blatche in uniform when the Wizards take on the Hornets.
Blatche has had a disappointing season and is averaging just 5.2 points and 3.7 rebounds in six games since returning from a strained left calf, which sidelined him for nearly a month. The three years and nearly $23 million remaining on Blatche’s contract and questions about his conditioning and character have turned off several teams.
“Dray won’t be moved due to a lack of interest,” one person with knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday. According to an ESPN.com report, the Wizards tried to pair JaVale McGee with Blatche to get teams to budge, but the same source said that package “doesn’t get it done.”
Another person with knowledge of the Wizards’ thinking wasn’t ready to give up on Blatche being dealt, saying that whether or not he can be moved “remains to be seen.”
If the Wizards can’t find a taker for Blatche, they can look to deal him near the draft. They also have the option of using the amnesty provision to cut ties with him in the offseason.
Nick Young has been rumored to have drawn interest from the Los Angeles Clippers, but that possibility appears to be remote, according to a person with knowledge of the Clippers’ thinking. Young would have to veto his “Bird Rights” in any deal, which would prohibit a team from going over the salary cap to retain him.
Young joked about where he was going to be on Thursday by saying, “Probably wake up, right, in my hotel and watch some TV in New Orleans. Maybe. I don’t know.”
With center Andrew Bogut being dealt from Milwaukee to Golden State on Monday, the Wizards lost a trade target and McGee has lost a potential suitor in free agency in the Warriors. But he still expects to command interest. A source close to McGee disputed an ESPN.com report that the 7-foot-1 center has informed the Wizards that he is looking for a contract averaging $14 million this summer.
The market for serviceable big men has already been set in recent years, with DeAnde Jordan signing a four-year, $43 million offer with the Clippers and Joakim Noah getting a five-year, $60 million extension two years ago. McGee is one of five players averaging at least 11.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and two blocked shots.
The Wizards have been gauging interest in McGee and still trying to decide whether to hold on and see what happens in July, according to sources.