Rick Snider: Blatche can't be here to stay

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Sports,NBA,Wizards,Rick Snider

Paying Andray Blatche to go away wouldn't be the worst thing the Washington Wizards could do with their colossal failure of a forward. Nor would trading Blatche to some remote European team for a bag of balls.

Using the amnesty rule to get Blatche's remaining $23 million off their salary cap would be too simple for the Wizards. Instead, exile him to Elba -- though Napoleon managed to escape the island, so maybe that's not far enough. Make it Easter Island.

The absolute worst thing the Wizards can do is keep Blatche. He can't have another chance.

Please, the man has had more chances than Lindsay Lohan.

It's hard to give up on a 6-foot-11 forward who played just well enough in spurts to sucker Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld into an expensive contract extension. Blatche has talent. The problem is he has no heart.

One day Blatche will talk of being a team captain, and the next game he will whine about his playing time after a horrific effort. He's a bad teammate, which is the last thing Washington needs as it rebuilds again.

The Wizards have seen some knuckleheads in the locker room in recent years, decent players like Gilbert Arenas and Nick Young who blew their careers. The Wizards surely don't need Blatche to contaminate rookie Bradley Beal or drain the last ounce of desire from John Wall.

If Washington can trade Blatche by the July 17 deadline for anything, then do it. Grunfeld's strength has been suckering teams into taking problem players with big contracts.

But the NBA knows Blatche is a bust, just another oversized athlete who doesn't appreciate the chance he was given but gets to leave with millions of dollars. That's Grunfeld's fault, which is surely why he must be on his last chance with Wizards owner Ted Leonsis. This was an expensive mistake.

In Blatche's best season, he averaged 16.8 points and 8.2 rebounds in 2011. The 2005 second-rounder finally seemed ready to contribute. Then he got hurt, averaged 8.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 26 games and was finally told to go home March 20 because of poor conditioning. Guess that supposed 2 a.m. workout regiment didn't work.

Washington certainly could use a productive Blatche. The problem is they can't trust him to give that effort, not when he's talking about being the leader one moment and isn't even a good teammate the next.

Keeping Blatche would be insane. It's better just to cut this lost cause and move on. Anything the Wizards can get for him is a bonus, but there probably isn't much out there.

If Washington can't trade Blatche, then declare amnesty, give him the money and move on. There's no winning move to make here, just the final failure in the seven-year curse.

Examiner columnist Rick Snider has covered local sports since 1978. Read more on Twitter @Snide_Remarks or email rsnider@washingtonexaminer.com.

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