Washington Wizards: What Does the Future Hold for Veteran Forward Rashard Lewis?

Karthik TadisinaSenior Writer IApril 27, 2012

Rashard Lewis.
Rashard Lewis.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

One NBA veteran who has been out of action for a good portion of the season is forward Rashard Lewis of the Washington Wizards.

Lewis, who was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Wizards in exchange for Gilbert Arenas back in December 2010, has been rather inconsistent during his time with Washington—despite being the second-highest-paid player in the NBA after Kobe Bryant.

The Wizards decided to give Lewis the opportunity to be away from the team in order to work on getting healthy once again from a bone bruise in his left knee.

Lewis will earn $22,152,000 this season as he enters the final year of a six-year contract that he signed as a free agent with the Orlando Magic.

Furthermore, Lewis is scheduled to earn $23,790,000 in 2012-13, but can be bought out for about $13.7m, which is expected to happen as the Wizards are looking to clean their roster.

It appears that Lewis is ready to move on both financially, as well as professionally, next season whether it is through a trade or in free agency. He should be a legitimate candidate for a team seeking to add a veteran shooter to the roster.

He would be a nice addition to a team seeking shooting off the bench (like Orlando), as by playing in 28 games this season—averaging 7.8 points per game—he may not be viewed as being a starter on a playoff-bound team.

Lewis can be a contributor somewhere next season as he is both young and skilled enough to continue his basketball career.

It will be interesting to see where he winds up next season and how effective he can be in a smaller, more reduced role.