Rashard Lewis’ monster contract – and, in turn, his skills – received a lot of scrutiny from Orlando Magic fans this year before the team traded him to the Washington Wizards in December.
But what would you think about Lewis playing for the Magic without the $118 million dollar contract attached to his name?
If the league institutes an amnesty clause in the new collective bargaining agreement, there’s a chance the Wizards would use it to waive Lewis and the remaining $30 million on his contract (he’s paid $21.1 million in 2011-12 and could be bought out for approximately $10 million before the 2012-13 season). Of course, the Wizards could use the clause to undo the mistake of Andray Blatche’s contract (5 years, $35.7 million agreed to before this season), but it’s unclear if the Wizards view that deal as a mistake yet.
So, if Lewis gets bought out, he’ll hit the open market and be free to sign with any NBA team. His family still lives in Orlando and he shares close friendships with many Magic players, so there’d almost certainly be interest on his end. Stan Van Gundy showed legitimate emotion when Lewis was traded and praised Lewis’ selfless attitude and work ethic, so the Magic’s coach would likely support Lewis’ return.
This is an interesting scenario to think about, to say the very least.
However, the Orlando Magic have more pressing needs and although it’s a nice story, re-signing Rashard Lewis if the possibility is there doesn’t do much to improve the team.