Rashard Lewis to Hornets: New Orleans and Washington Swap Is Good for Both Teams

Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJune 20, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 28:  Rashard Lewis #9 of the Washington Wizards and Derrick Brown #4 of the Charlotte Bobcats battle for a ball during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 28, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The New Orleans Hornets are cutting salaries and players they don't see as a major part of their future, and the Wizards are adding veteran players with a strong defensive pedigree. It's a small win for both teams in my book.

Per Jonathan Givonny of Draft Express, the Hornets traded Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza to the Washington Wizards for Rashard Lewis.

NBA source tells me Emeka Okafor and Trevor Arizona have been traded to the Washington Wizards for Rashard Lewis and the #46 pick

— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 20, 2012


Who's Trevor Arizona? Don't worry, he corrected it:

Twitter automatically changes Ariza to Arizona. Don't ask me why. RT @kempskid Trevor Arizona eh?

— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 20, 2012


I don't expect Rashard Lewis to ever play a game in a Hornets uniform. He'll likely be bought out before July 1. If the Hornets do that, they can cut almost half of the $24 million he's owed in the final year of his ridiculous six-year, $118 million contract.

The Hornets are obviously aiming for a young core of players led by Anthony Davis, whom the Hornets seem certain to select with the top pick of the draft, Eric Gordon, whom they should now have the funds to re-sign, and the player they select at No. 10 in this year's draft.

It's not a bad setup and Monty Williams did a great job with a less-than-ideal situation last year. Things are looking up for the Hornets. 

As for Washington, they add two big contracts, but they are only on the hook for two seasons. They are both good defenders that can help improve the team in that area. The Wizards were 20th in the NBA in points allowed last season.

Okafor and Ariza will also add a veteran presence that should help improve the overall culture.

Usually, trades clearly favor one side, but this is an instance where both teams will benefit. from the change.



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