NBA Free Agent Rumors: Could Rashard Lewis Could Find His Lost Game in Miami?
Even the greatest have room to improve.
The 2012 NBA champion Miami Heat have wasted no time in making headlines this offseason, expressing interest in sharpshooter and former rival Ray Allen. While Allen is expected to visit with Miami on Thursday, the Heat are wasting no time in building their options.
With a need for size and a three-point shooter to potentially replace the hardly walking Mike Miller, the Heat feel they know just who to turn to.
According to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, the defending champions are looking to kill two birds with one stone by signing the 6'10" Rashard Lewis. Lewis, who was recently waived by the New Orleans Hornets, was once one of the game's true sharpshooters, a label which the Heat believe could still be bestowed upon him.
As Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports explains, they are not alone in that belief.
From 2001 to 2010, Rashard Lewis scored between 14.1 and 22.4 points per game in each season. He also shot 40 percent or greater from distance in every year from 2005 to 2010. Unfortunately, 2011 and 2012 were both shortened by injuries and pummeled high expectations after Lewis began to find a decrease in production in the midst of a $118 million deal, a deal that made Lewis the highest-paid player in the NBA.
Can Rashard Lewis re-discover his form?
In 2013, the Miami Heat feel that tempered expectations and a lowered salary could bring back what was once a promising career. Lewis, now 32, has the playing style and body that the Heat would certainly benefit from. While he's never been the bang-in-the-paint and crash-the-boards player that Miami may need, his mere presence is an upgrade over what they currently possess.
Lewis, for the record, was a key player in the Orlando Magic's NBA Finals run in 2009. He finished with an average of 19.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game while shooting 39.4 percent from distance.
With the combination of size, three-point shooting and playoff experience, Lewis may be able to discover what has been lost for two painful years. While the label of the most overpaid player in NBA history may still rest on his shoulders, the attention of a defense will not; not with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the floor, that is.
At worst, he'll be another face on the perimeter who you never want to leave open. If you don't see the value in that, ask the Heat what they would have won without their three-point shooting.
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