It's been nearly three weeks since the Wizards did that amnesty thing to Andray Blatche. Now that the talented forward with excessive baggage is on the open market, is there any interest coming from other NBA teams? Well, guess it depends on who's talking -or you interpret what they said.While covering the Olympics, ESPN NBA Insider Marc Stein said on Twitter this weekend, "Free-agent rumble that just dribbled across the pond: Heat & Spurs among teams to express exploratory interest in free agent Andray Blatche."Not exactly saying that teams are hot and heavy for thetalented 6-foot-11 scorer with the penchant for not doing enough of the exercise thing,but that's something and honestly, makes sense. Blatche needs to land with a veteran team, not one counting on him to be a leader - or captain.Anyway, that semi-vague update either coincides or contradicts howBlatche's agent Andy Miller sees things. This week Miller indicated to the Washington Post no teams have made "significant overtures".One assumes Blatche's agent knows what he's talking about - or perhapshis level of what is genuine interest from teams ishigher than most? - but an ESPNNewYork.com report offers a different take."According to a source close to Blatche, the seven-year veteran has several teams after him. He could be open to the veteran's minimum because no matter how much he signs for, he'll still collect 7.1 million next season from the Wizards after getting amnestied. There are also some insiders who predict he'll go to a situation where he can start for an up-and-coming team, so he can boost his profile and then look for an eight-figure salary next offseason."Um, say what now?Look,it would seema touch odd if Blatche, still only 25-years-old, received no legitimate offers this offseason (legitimate meaning having a chance to play, not financial). He canscore and the cost for his services could perhaps be for the veteran's minimum. Having him serve as a team leader and expensive building block is one thing; a reserve with minimal financial risk is another.But imagining anyone in Blatche's world thinksan eight-figure salary is coming his way in 2013-14, wow. Even among head scratching NBA contracts, that would be a stunner. Guess Blatche has one year to make us stunned, assuming some team makes a significant overture for his services this year.
The 2018 NBA offseason in just three weeks has become one of the wildest summers in the league's history between LeBron James signing with the Lakers, and all the characters that followed him, to DeMarcus Cousins surprising everyone to sign with the Golden State Warriors, to Kawhi Leonard getting traded to the Raptors.
As crazy as it all has been, two teams in the Eastern Conference stand out for so far doing very little, either by choice or circumstance. The Celtics and Sixers, the two teams most see as the favorites in the East, appear at least so far to be running it back with the same group of players.
This appears to be the Celtics' intention. After overhauling their roster last summer, they clearly see an opportunity to take a step forward as-is. Boston was one win away from the NBA Finals and will return Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving from injury. With James gone to the West, they can improve significanly just by keeping it all together.
Boston re-signed Marcus Smart and Aron Baynes. Their biggest addition this summer so far has been their first round pick, Robert Williams.
The Sixers, unlike the Celtics, didn't appear to plan on doing it this way. They wanted James and missed out. They reportedly had interest in Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, but both went elsewhere. There are no stars left to sign in free agency and the trade market may be drying up.
Philly made some minor moves like trades for Wilson Chandler and Mike Muscala. They may also have a deal for Kyle Korver in the works. They also had two first round picks in Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet.
There's a chance the Sixers got better than people think, as many of the moves they made seem smart. But they didn't reel in a big fish and will probably come back for the 2018-19 season with a team very similar to the one that made the second round of the playoffs this spring.
The fact the Celtics and Sixers may stand pat is probably a good thing for the rest of the East. Both teams may improve naturally if they are healthier and if their young players continue to ascend. But neither made a game-changing addition, one that would solidify either as an unstoppable superteam in the conference.
The West is overloaded with title contenders and All-NBA players. The East, meanwhile, is much more open and it may end up staying that way mainly because Boston and Philly have been quiet so far this summer.
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Wizards team president Ernie Grunfeld has stayed relatively busy this summer crafting his new-look lineup for the 2018-19 season.
One of the team's key additions, Dwight Howard, is set to be introduced as a member of the Wizards on Monday.
NBC Sports Washington will air the introductory press conference live at 1 p.m. while also streaming it online.
Ernie Grunfeld and head coach Scott Brooks are both expected to be in attendance.
The 32-year-old big man is coming off a 2017-18 season with the Charlotte Hornets in which he averaged 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds per game.
Since leaving the Orlando Magic after eight seasons in 2011, Howard has played for four different teams in the last six years.
Howard is an eight-time all-star and a three-time defensive player of the year.