NBA Rumors: Rashard Lewis Would Resurrect Career with Miami Heat

Tim KeeneyContributor IJuly 4, 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

Rashard Lewis isn't done yet. 

After establishing himself as one of the NBA's brightest young stars during his time with the Seattle Sonics, Lewis signed what would soon be known as the "worst contract ever" with the Orlando Magic

Lewis had a few decently productive seasons in Orlando before being shipped to Washington, only to continue his trend downward before again being traded, this time to New Orleans. 

Now that the Hornets have waived the 32-year-old—before he even played a game for his home-state squad—Lewis can play the free-agent market. 

According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the next stop in Lewis' roller-coaster career might just be sunny South Beach.

Forward Rashard Lewis, a 6-foot-10 3-point specialist who was limited to 28 games this past season by knee problems and waived over the weekend by the New Orleans Hornets has attracted multiple overtures from the Heat amid the start of the NBA's free-agency period.

Moreover, the Heat won't have to beat out many other suitors, as they are apparently on Lewis' short list:

Agent Tony Dutt confirms to Sun Sentinel Heat interest in Rashard Lewis, says Heat on short list of teams that intrigue free-agent forward.

— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) July 3, 2012

Besides Dwight Howard and attention, is there a better fit than Lewis with the Heat? 

Let's face it, the often-ridiculed Lewis doesn't have much left in the tank. He's only 32, but since he came into the league straight out of high school, he's an "old" 32, as suggested by his 15 seasons and over 31,000 minutes played.

At this point, if he's not going to contend for his first NBA ring, he owes it to his poor knees to retire. Where better to compete for a title, however, than with the defending champs?

Not only are the Heat set up to dominate the East for not three, not four, not five, not six—sorry, got distracted—years, Lewis would actually help them. 

Miami's game plan on offense is fairly simple. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade attack the paint. Shooters litter the three-point line, waiting for the open looks the Big 3 will inevitably open up. 

Hey, if Shane Battier and Mike Miller can find a way to be productive on the offensive end, so can Lewis, even though he's coming off the worst shooting season of his career. 

When it comes down to it, Lewis is just under a 40-percent three-point shooter for his career, and that's counting all the seasons he has had to carry the load. If he took his talents to South Beach, not only could he preserve his now fragile body, he could light it up from the outside without much effort. 

Of course, on defense, Lewis will unquestionably be a liability, but again, that's where Wade and James come in. Their versatility and ability to guard multiple positions means head coach Erik Spoelstra can just stick Lewis on the opposing team's worst offensive wing player.

His effect on the defensive end will, in the long run, be minimal and much less than the effect he can have shooting the ball.

It's a win for the Heat, who need to find role players at a discount. It's a win for Lewis, whose options are bare thin right now, and it's a loss for the rest of the league.