The Washington Wizards have signed second-round draft pick Andray Blatche. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to a league source the contract is for two seasons.
The Wizards, who did not have a first-round pick, selected the 6-foot-11, 235-pound Blatche with the 49th overall pick. Blatche, a Syracuse native who will turn 19 this month, played at South Kent Prep in Connecticut last season and averaged 27.5 points, 16 rebounds and 6 blocks.
Blatche impressed the Wizards with his performance in the Las Vegas summer league in July. In seven games, Blatche played mostly small forward but also some shooting guard and averaged 9.5 points and 6.5 rebounds while shooting 43.1 percent. Blatche recently attended a weeklong skills camp run by Portland assistant coach Tim Grgurich in Las Vegas. The summer league and camp gave Blatche opportunities to compete against NBA players and further develop his skills against the kind of competition he did not see last winter in prep school.
The Wizards have been cautious about putting a specific timeline on Blatche's development, but Coach Eddie Jordan and president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld have both expressed satisfaction with what they've seen so far.
"I think the thing we're most excited about is that Andray has shown that he has a nice feel for the game," Grunfeld said not long after summer league play ended. "He's versatile and he's coachable so we're excited about working with him and helping him continue to improve."
The Wizards may also sign undrafted rookie guard Donnell Taylor before training camp in October. Taylor, who played at Alabama-Birmingham last season, averaged 12.7 points during summer league play.
-- Ivan Carter