By Marc Weinreich
July 17, 2012

The Washington Wizards amnestied Andray Blatche on Tuesday. (Glenn James/Getty Images)

The Washington Wizards have amnestied Andray Blatche, according to a report on Tuesday from The Washington Post NBA beat reporter Michael Lee:

"We appreciate the opportunity to have a fresh start and appreciate the time, effort and care shown by the Wizards,” Blatche’s agent, Andy Miller, said.

Blatche is owed $23 million, which Lee said the Wizards will pay, and the team will move ahead in its rebuilding phase centered around surrounding John Wall with more talent. The Wizards also spent this off-season shedding the contract of Rashard Lewis, who was set to make $22.6 million next season, by trading him to the New Orleans Hornets for Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor.

According to Lee, the Wizards felt that the decision to cut Blatche came down to realizing that his contract was not worth the "distraction of his continued presence on a team that is obviously moving on."

In 26 games last season, he averaged 8.5 points and 5.8 rebounds in 24 minutes per game. He was drafted 49th overall by the Wizards in the 2005 NBA Draft.

Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld called the decision a "mutually beneficial opportunity."

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