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Wizards getting ready to cap losses on Blatche

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,Craig Stouffer
The expectation was the Wizards would have all summer to try and persuade another team to take Andray Blatche off their hands. Instead, they may have to amnesty him if there isn't a trade in place when free agency begins in July.

It's no secret Blatche is a primary candidate for the amnesty provision set out in the latest NBA collective bargaining agreement. Orlando used it the moment it became available in December to get rid of Gilbert Arenas and the $60 million that he took up on the Magic's salary cap.

But just as amnesty was available only Dec. 9-16, it will be available this summer only July 11-17, coinciding with the first week that teams can officially sign free agents, according to cbafaq.com, which explains the intricacies of NBA labor and contract rules.

Blatche's time in Washington appeared to come to an end when he was shelved for the final month of the season. But the Wizards would rather trade the seven-year power forward than pay off the more than $23 million he's owed over the next three seasons.

Instead of a full offseason to wheel and deal -- or to wait and see whether Blatche gets his act together -- they will have seven days. And if the amnesty window comes and goes with Blatche still on the roster, it will be up to Washington to make a trade or he will be there when training camp opens, too.

Amnesty was supposed to be a last resort. It turns out it may be the first option.

- Craig Stouffer

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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