NBA Rumors: Rashard Lewis Is Final Piece for Miami Heat Title Defense
Rashard Lewis' ability to make an impact has steadily declined over the last few seasons, but that doesn't mean he isn't exactly what the Miami Heat need.
According to Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix, the Heat have met with Lewis and appear to be making progress:
If [Lewis] signs with Miami—a source described his meeting with Heat officials on Sunday as going "very well"—there would be no pressure. Just make a few threes every night, Rashard. We'll take it from there.
Indeed, the long swingman's role needn't be an especially high-pressure one. As it is, he'll have to compete for playing time with the likes of LeBron James, Shane Battier and Mike Miller. Lewis will get his shots, but he won't need to take too many of them.
With James spending more time at power forward, Lewis will have the opportunity to play at small forward during stretches or otherwise play behind James and serve as a "spread 4."
The 6'10" shooter has never had great strength, but his length gives him the ability to guard a few bigs and get his hands on some rebounds.
He might not get more than 15-20 minutes a game in order to do so, but he will have a pretty good shot at a title.
Mario Chalmers has gotten pretty comfortable from that corner spot, but that's where Miami's range stopped.
The new additions give the Heat a weapon they really haven't had thus far.
They also give them insurance. Battier and Miller are getting on in years, and the risk of losing them to injury at the wrong time isn't acceptable for a team without replacements.
More importantly, Lewis is as good a teammate as you could add. He never complained about his diminishing role in Washington, and he took the opportunity to serve as a mentor for an otherwise young team.
When you're playing out a six-year, $112 million contract, that's the least you can do.
Still, a lot of guys wouldn't.
The Heat are adding an important piece, both for his on-court specialty and his off-court stability.
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