Rashard Lewis: LeBron James Tweets Welcome to Newest Miami Heat Member

Joye Pruitt@joyethewarSenior Analyst IJuly 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

Open your hearts and your doors Heat fans. LeBron James just tweeted out a warm welcome to Miami’s newest family member.

“#HeatNation please welcome our newest member Rashard Lewis to the family.”

There is no more debating on whether or not Miami would come to their senses about the injury-riddled Rashard or whether or not the pay cut would be too major to overlook.

It is official, as far as King James’ Twitter is concerned. Lewis is firmly planted into Miami’s rotation as a perimeter threat and for quite the discount.

If you questioned Pat Riley’s decisions as the president of the franchise before, you should step back and take a look at what he has accomplished after such a short time into this summer’s NBA offseason.

According to USA Today, Lewis will make the veteran minimum from Miami, which is worth about $1.3 million. Why should he care that he’s not the highest-paid player on the team or even close to it?

Lewis is still staring down $13.7 million from the New Orleans Hornets who bought out the last year of his contract. Up until this point, Lewis has been one of the most overpaid question marks in the league.

However, with a new and lesser role on Miami’s bench, fans should see the type of wing player that the Heat need him to be and are paying him to be.

Fans weren’t the only ones watching the Miami Heat in the 2012 NBA Finals. Performing from the perimeter is one of the things that saved the Heat from another disappointing series exit.

With Mike Miller’s future in Miami questionable, it only makes sense that the Heat would go out and cover all of their bases. Lewis will be a role-player, not a starter like so many Rashard fans would have hoped. He’s not the same man he was seasons ago with that soft and sweet stroke beyond the arc.

He will not function well with the added pressure that comes with being a starter in a franchise geared to repeat, at least as far as the Eastern Conference Finals are concerned.

Lewis is much better coming off of the bench, and Miami should stick with the starting lineup as follows:

Mario Chalmers (PG)

Ray Allen (SG)

Dwyane Wade (SF)

LeBron James (PF)

Chris Bosh (C)

Unless Miami decides to give up on small ball and go after a true center in this year’s free agency, this is what the starting lineup will echo and for good reason.

Leaning on Rashard Lewis to be one of the primary influences of the team will lead the Heat down a very narrow and dangerous path. Lewis will shine for a moment or two, but nothing more.

The Miami Heat don’t need anything more.