Wizards are gauging interest in trading Andray Blatche

The Wizards are investigating whether to trade talented forward Andray Blatche. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
The Wizards are investigating whether to trade talented forward Andray Blatche. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, December 30, 2010; 12:22 AM

The Wizards have already made one huge trade this season, sending former face of the franchise Gilbert Arenas to Orlando in exchange for Rashard Lewis. But they might not be done dealing.

According to two Western Conference executives, the Wizards are gauging interest in Andray Blatche to determine if trading the skilled 6-foot-11 forward is best for the organization moving forward. Blatche leads the Wizards in scoring (16.8 points) and is second in rebounding (7.9). The trade deadline is Feb. 24.

Blatche was involved in an altercation last week with teammate JaVale McGee outside of a Washington club. Blatche and McGee both received one-game suspensions and later apologized for the incident.

The executives said McGee is "not yet" on the market. McGee, a third-year center who participated in Team USA tryouts last summer, is averaging career highs of 9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. But he is still playing on his rookie contract, which pays him $1.6 million this season and would limit what he could bring back in return.

"JaVale seems very not available," one of the executives said.

Blatche signed a three-year extension before training camp that will pay him $28 million between now and the 2014-15 season. He broke his foot last summer and arrived in camp carrying some extra weight because of his limited mobility while rehabbing.

After returning from his suspension on Monday to score 17 points with 14 rebounds against Houston, Blatche said, "I feel I let my team down by getting suspended. It killed me. That's why I'm going to do my best not to let that happen again."

Blatche has been suspended twice this calendar year. He was suspended for one game last season after getting belligerent with the coaches and trainers during and after a game. He also got into a dispute with Coach Flip Saunders last March, when he failed to re-enter a game.

The 6-10 Lewis played power forward in Orlando and is currently starting at small forward for the Wizards (8-22), who defeated Indiana on Wednesday night.


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