Rashard Lewis Reportedly Agrees to Sign With Miami Heat

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 10, 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 defending champions just keep getting stronger, most recently with the reported addition of veteran forward Rashard Lewis

Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears reports that the former max-contract player will now sign a cheap two-year deal with the Miami Heat:

Heat have agreed to a two-year deal with forward Rashard Lewis, sources tell Yahoo! Sports.

— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 10, 2012

So much for parity. 

I'm not saying that the rest of the league should just give up, but the Miami Heat aren't showing any signs of slowing down in their quest to win back-to-back titles. The Ray Allen signing was a big enough deal, but adding another quality veteran like Lewis guarantees them a spot atop the preseason totem pole. 

Lewis may have looked washed up with the Washington Wizards last year, averaging 7.8 points and 3.9 rebounds per game with a PER of just 9.37, but the 32-year-old can't be done quite yet. 

We still aren't too far removed from Lewis' prime, and there's no motivation like being asked to contribute for the defending champions. 

Lewis is going to play a little bit of small forward and a little bit of power forward, stretching the floor and thinning out the interior defense of opponents to allow Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to drive with even more ease. Plus, he can still knock down a few three-pointers. 

The pressure of the six-year, $112 million albatross of a contract is gone and replaced with the pressure of a small role on the most heavily scrutinized team in the league. Then again, the expectations are no longer high for him. 

A great teammate, Lewis is going to be happy with any role he gets, and he'll be more than content to knock down a few big shots. 

He'll have the opportunity to finally compete for a ring, as the favorites just got even stronger.