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ESPN: Nets interested in bringing back Andray Blatche

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's Mike Mazzeo and Marc Stein report that the Nets are among several teams interested in bringing back Andray Blatche who became a free agent Tuesday following a season in China.

NetsDaily can confirm the report.

Blatche played two years with the Nets, averaging better than 10 points and five rebounds but decided against re-signing him.  Blatche had to take a personal leave of absence in mid-season last year.  Privately, Nets sources said it was more a paid suspension following repeated instances of unprofessional behavior.  In tweets last summer and during his season in China, Blatche often tweeted about a desire to return.

Now 28, Blatche averaged 31.1 points, 14.9 rebounds and five assists in China, where he was the top big man along with Yi Jianlian.  He also improved his three point shooting, hitting nearly 40 percent from deep.  His team,the Xingjiang Flying Tigers, had been one of the top clubs in China, but a late season collapse put them out of the playoffs, ending Blatche's commitment.

The Nets hold Blatche's Early Bird rights giving them an advantage --and some flexibility-- in contract negotiations.  The Nets could in theory sign him to a contract of at least two years or as many as four years.  One possibility: Brooklyn could sign Blatche to a two-year deal --the rest of this season and all of next-- for more than the vets minimum with the second year either non- or partially guaranteed.

Blatche has been receiving amnesty payments from the Wizards for the past three years, but those payments, now nearly $9 million, end after this year. So, he's likely looking for a longer term deal that the Nets could give him with his Early Bird rights this year or full Bird rights next year. .

With Mirza Teletovic out for the season,  Brook Lopez on the trading block and rumors flying about a Kevin Garnett buyout, the 6'11" Blatche could fill a hole upfront.