Washington Wizards: Five Reasons They're Regretting The Trade For Rashard Lewis
The trade of the year so far this NBA season is definitely the Magic's decision to move Rashard Lewis to receive Gilbert Arenas in exchange.
For the Magic, it was a step forward, for the Wizards, it appears to have forced them to take a step back.
Lewis' numbers have gotten better on the Wizards and has yet to find a consistent stroke beyond the arc. The Wizards have yet to see progress this season, with them losing all of their road games so far this season and now it seems as if the city of Washington D.C. is in for another groundbreaking trade.
Head coach Flip Saunders was hoping that his offense would help revive Rashard Lewis' old days as a Seattle Supersonic by putting him at the Small Forward position. The position change for Lewis was better, for his individual production, but it doesn't work out in a team's perspective as he doesn't have his young legs anymore to guard Small Forwards with the likes of Kevin Durant and Rudy Gay.
General Manager Ernie Grunfeld is probably in his office with his hands covering his face as he is sitting in the hot seat now as this franchise has not even contended for a playoff spot in the last three years.
5. Delays Young Player Production
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The Washington Wizards made an obvious shift into rebuilding mode last year when they dumped their veterans Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood, and Deshawn Stevenson off to other teams to free up cap space.
As a result of that and taking on the contract of Kirk Hinrich, the Wizards were able to get three first round picks where they selected forwards Trevor Booker, Kevin Seraphin, and the face of the franchise John Wall.
With young promising players, there needs to be playing time and experience on the court to get better, and with Rashard Lewis in the rotation with the type of contract he has, it will be clogging up room at both forward positions.
4. Addition By Subtraction
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What do the Wizards need to do starting this off-season to the next couple of years?
Well they need muscle, that's for sure, but they also could use a wing player to compliment John Wall. Bad thing is, Rashard Lewis takes up space for both the wing and the paint area. It is obviously that the Wizards are looking to move him in spite of his shooting skills because of the fact that he is taking up space in positions that the Wizards need to really improve in.
This would definitely be a position were the Wizards would get addition by subtraction for trading away Rashard Lewis, being that the owner Ted Leonsis said himself that he wants to build through the draft, as he did with his Washington Capitals.
Which is a long and stressful process that comes with a lot of roster changes and losses.
3. His Mindset May Be Affecting His Game
Rashard Lewis was recently asked about his thoughts on the trade rumors around the league from Michael Lee of the Washington Post and answered:
"I guess you can say it's a little bit tougher now, you always hear rumors, but you don't know if they are true or not, until it happens. You think about what if, and if it does happen, you've got to go with the situation. As for rumors, you can try to block it out, as much as possible. Even if they are talking about you. You've got to block it out because it does affect your game a little bit."
Lewis himself admit that the trade rumors affect his game a bit, and it will as long as he still on the Washington Wizards as he does not fit the franchise's direction of rebuilding.
2. Matchup Problems
One of the reasons why the Washington Wizards saw some light in the trade for Rashard Lewis is because he creates a match-up problem on offense because of him being 6 foot 10 inches.
Now it seems that the match-up problem comes in two forms, one on offense, and one on defense. The one on offense generates an advantage for the Wizards because of Lewis' high arching shot along with his length, which is bigger than the average SF in the NBA.
The other issue that I've notice on the court, is that Lewis often struggles to guard SFs in the league due to his loss of lateral quickness in his legs to keep up with the player he is guarding. When Lewis was younger in Seattle, he had young legs and could move obviously quicker than he does now.
A loss in a guard with the lack of defense also returns a forward with better defense, but not the defense a majority of teams would be looking for.
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If time machines were in existent, the Orlando Magic would more than likely not offer the Seattle Supersonics for the at-the-time star, Rashard Lewis.
Not to take anything away from Lewis and his skills but he definitely doesn't live up to his second-highest contract in the NBA and considering that the Wizards are in the youth movement now, I don't see how taking on his contract will help the Wizards move forward as he still has three years left and over 19 million owed to him.
His skill set won't really effect the outcome of whether or not the Washington Wizards will be able to trade him or not, but the dollar amount of his contract will most certainly have opposing teams second guessing.