The return of Rashard Lewis? | Magic Basketball

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May 18

The return of Rashard Lewis?

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Via Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel:

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.

18 comments
magicLA
magicLA

Yep, I figured that - I only recently started looking at more in depth stats, and that seemed to be the best candidate - but I could tell there were a lot of gaps in that metric so I included the mpg and * disclaimers to try to patch it.  

Still though, those numbers do appear to show a rough measurement of skill.  What is a more precise stat (or combination) to use for measurement of individual defense?

magicLA
magicLA

Using Def Rating (Basketball-Reference.com):

(08-09)
Rashard Lewis (36.3 mpg) = 103
Brandon Bass (19.4 mpg) = 108* pre DH/SVG
Ryan Anderson (19.9 mpg) = 109* pre DH/SVG
Dwight Howard = 95
Anderson Verajao = 100
--------
(09-10)Rashard Lewis (32.9 mpg) = 104  Brandon Bass (13.0 mpg) = 104Ryan Anderson (14.4 mpg) = 103Dwight Howard = 95Anderson Verajao = 102
--------
(10-11)Rashard Lewis (32.4 / 31.7 mpg) = 103 / 110* post DH/SVGBrandon Bass (26.0 mpg) = 103Ryan Anderson (22.3 mpg)= 101Dwight Howard = 94Anderson Verajao = injured
--------
Career:
Rashard Lewis = 107Brandon Bass = 105Ryan Anderson = 105Dwight Howard = 98Anderson Verajao = 102** Ryan Anderson's numbers are probably skewed as he has primarily played vs lesser skilled back up players** Bass has only really played 1 year alongside Dwight Howard so (10-11) number is most accurate.  ** Lewis' (07-08) first year w/ Dwight = 106, Dwight had 99 Def Rt that year 

magicLA
magicLA

what is Dwight? excellent x 1,000,000

... speaking of Verajao you think there's any chance he could be pried away from the Cavs if a team took Davis off their hands - Verajao's not exactly cheap for a rebuilding team ....and now with the 1 (Irving) and 4 picks, Davis (and his contract) are in the way even more specially since Sessions played well and is a heck of a lot cheaper.

magicLA
magicLA

Not being a liability and being a good defender are a big difference.  And if resigned he will be 2+ years removed from the time he was "not a liability" plus knee surgery.  

Like I said he was ok, but I consider a good defender someone like Verajao - and as much as I liked Lewis when with the Magic - he was not that.  His defensive peak was vs a hurt KGarnett in the playoffs but Gasol/Odom quickly made mincemeat out of him in the finals.  He is relatively young but has logged an incredible amount of minutes for that age mainly because he came straight out of high school.  

Magic fan
Magic fan

Is that generic or geriatric?  Oh - with this team it's both. Otis has always gone for old (and some washed up) veterans rather than building around youth. It hasn't worked and it's limited our future opportunites.  

Itsmagic904
Itsmagic904

 Rashard had a bad knee last season, thats why he wasnt playing so good. Its not like he suddenly lost his skills out of no where. Lou is what the magic need to win a championship, he is perfect for that 4 spot and perfect for the magic organization. I would try and bring Carter back too. He got into great shape last summer and knew what he needed to do for orlando. Otis is dumb, the roster before the trade would have cruised pass Atlanta. They went to the Conference finals last year, and it takes a season to get use to the magic playbook and chemistry. I think the magic could still be playing ball if it werent for that trade. Only if Otis didnt have a crush on gilbert, we would be find. Turk and Clark are the only good that came from that trade. Should have traded bass or anderson for turk, and kept carter. Jameer, Carter, Turk, Shard, Howard would be a beastly line up. I would even try and go bigger with JJ Redick playing Point gaurd, he has great handles and smart with the ball, hes very effective in the pick and roll. He would be raining 3s over other point guards.

Magicworlds
Magicworlds

Agree with what you said Eddy: nice story and most Magic fans like Rashard.
I doubt if Otis and Rashard want to work together again. Although I still think Rashard has some good basketball in him and once his knees get well he will be fine.  

magicLA
magicLA

Can we please not try to relive the glory days...again

This revisionist history that Lewis was a good defender is seriously being distorted by the 'back in the day' lens - I guess seeing the defense of our current Bass/Anderson condition lowers the bar a bit...I mean he was ok but seriously, and now he's older and coming off surgery? 

Magic need whatever roster spots are available to go towards young developing players like Clark - that's our best chance at affording/finding a diamond in the rough 

- last thing we need are more veteran "locker room" guys...Nelson 29, Arenas 29, Duhon 28, Hedo 32, Q 31...

Zach
Zach

Sure, I miss Rashards defense and the bond he and his teammates had, If they sign him to a 1 year deal for cheap it's a good pickup. So they have cap space the following season, assuming Arenas is off the books and Otis isn't terrible and can't free up some more space if Arenas was gone.

Jareth
Jareth

 He's 10 times the defender at the 4 than Bass is. Without the juice and 2 bad knees I'd take him over Brandon. Brandon has shown me he can do 3 things. Shoot. Shoot. And folly a rebound. 

Guest
Guest

 Why not just convince Fran Vazquez to finally join the NBA?  

Brandon Brooks
Brandon Brooks

Does that mean we'll do the same to Arenas and watch Washington pick him up dirt cheap? 

Carlo Simone
Carlo Simone

 Nope, does nothing to improve the team.  But if he's dirt cheap and we have other players already in place that we bring in I can't see the harm in having his personality back in the locker room.

Brandon Brooks
Brandon Brooks

From a personal level, I like those guys. But I do think it's too much wishful thinking that they could contend for a championship. 

Zach
Zach

Do you realize how poor Bass/Anderson are in comparison to Rashard defensively? That killed Orlando in the playoffs. Shard could actually defend Horford or heck even Josh Smith for that matter. 

magicLA
magicLA

Exactly what I said, his defense is being compared to Bass and Anderson.  In the context of this article - "Should the Magic resign Lewis" he should be compared to players not already on this roster but to what is available.  

Just of the top of my head, R Turiaf should be available for around half the MLE.  Not only can he play both PF/C but he has an endless motor, good defender and shot blocker and he is a good passer.  Sure he's not a great offensive threat like Lewis in my opinion the Magic need a defense and hustle energy guy from whatever 4th big they acquire this offseason if they plan on keeping the current big rotation intact.  

magicLA
magicLA

Nevermind on Turiaf - likely not going to be available:

Chris Sheridan/ESPN earlier this week - "Ronny Turiaf is expected to pick up the player option on his $4.36 million contract and then spend the summer playing for the French national team. "