Wizards re-sign forward Blatche to multiyear deal
WASHINGTON -- Forward Andray Blatche re-signed with the Wizards on Friday, as Washington opted to keep the restricted free agent despite his recent run-in with the law.
Blatche signed a multiyear deal. Its completion was delayed because of his arrest on Aug. 2 on sexual solicitation charges. Blatche, 20, and another man were accused of trying to solicit sex from an undercover police officer, and Blatche was also wanted for failure to appear on a charge of driving without a license.
"I've talked to Andray. I think he feels bad about it," Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld said. "He understands it shouldn't have happened. He'll learn from it."
Blatche's agent, Eric Fleisher, said his client's arrest affected only the timing of the negotiations.
"He's a good kid," Fleisher said. "Everybody knows he's a good kid."
Entering his third season with the Wizards, Blatche has averaged 3.2 points and 2.7 rebounds in 85 career games, including 13 starts. He averaged 3.7 points and 3.4 rebounds in 56 games last season.
Blatche was a second-round draft pick out of high school in 2005, but he missed training camp after he was shot in a carjacking attempt in the Washington suburbs. He split time during the 2005-06 season between the Wizards and Roanoke of the NBA Developmental League.
Fleisher said other teams showed interest in Blatche, but none were ready to "take the next step" and make an offer because the Wizards had the right to match any deal.
The Wizards had targeted re-signing Blatche and guard DeShawn Stevenson as two of their offseason priorities, and they've accomplished both.
"He is a young and promising talent who has shown that he can be a solid contributor to our team," Grunfeld said.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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