They have no plans to rid themselves of Rashard Lewis, the washed-up forward scheduled to make $21.1 million this season and $22 million next season:
Two people with knowledge of the Wizards’ thinking have said that it is unlikely that the team uses the amnesty provision on Lewis or anyone else before this season. But the Wizards could wait and see what players other teams waive, which could add more free agents to the mix.
It makes no sense to me.
The amnesty rule allows you to cut a player and 100 percent of his salary for cap and tax purposes. It’s no secret the Wizards aren’t a championship contender this season, and need the 2011-2012 season to get their young guys as much time on the floor together as possible.
Sure the free-agent pool isn’t overwhelming this season, but why not make a play for a guy like David West? If you are going to go through the rebuilding process, go all in. It does the fans a disservice to allow Lewis to causally jog up and down the court averaging 10 points and three rebounds knowing he is one of the highest-paid players in the entire league. His long-term future isn’t in Washington and it’s counterproductive to keep him around for even one more season.
Bringing in a guy like West or Nene allows superstar point guard John Wall a chance to get comfortable with his new big man, as they learn how to play with each other.
Patience is the word around Wizards camp these days and I think that whole process can be sped up significantly by getting rid of Lewis, the last reminder of the horrific Gilbert Arenas era that set back the team for the past half-decade.
Getting rid of Lewis officially begins the Wall era in Washington.