On Thursday, ESPN’s Chad Ford listed Rashard Lewis as the ninth most likely player to be dealt by the NBA trade deadline. After Ford’s article was released, the Washington Post’s Michael Lee caught up with Lewis and asked him how he feels about those rumors. Here’s the gist of his response:
“I guess you can say it’s a little bit tougher now,” Lewis said. “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.”
When I read Ford’s article and Lee’s follow up interview, I was shocked. Who in their right mind would trade for that toxic contract? It’s not like Lewis is playing any better for the Wizards than he did for the Magic, so where’s the appeal to paying nearly 20 million dollars a year for a guy who will get you 14 points each night? And that’s where ESPN’s Trade Machine comes in (because when in doubt, try the trade machine). What I discovered is what I suspected: there’s not much of a market for Mr. Lewis. I could only come up with two trades that made any sense for a squad acquiring Lewis, and even then, it’s a stretch. See after the jump.
Wizards receive: Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Dominique Jones
Mavs receive: Rashard Lewis
Analysis: Talk about a blast from the past. The Wizards would get to re-unite with Caron (kinda) and DeShawn Stevenson, plus add a rookie first-round pick who isn’t playing in Dallas (Dominique Jones). Caron and DeShawn equal almost 15 million dollars in expiring contracts, so that’s the obvious appeal for Washington. Plus, with Butler injured, the Wiz would be able to play youngsters like Trevor Booker more often.
For the Mavs, this is a desperation, Hail Mary move. Rashard Lewis is better suited at power forward, but he is capable of playing small forward, a position the Mavs are sorely lacking with Butler out for the year. At the moment, Dallas is starting Sasha Pavlovic and may have to resort to Peja Stojakovic down the line. Those two guys won’t win you many games come playoff time. The Mavs could really use another shooter/scorer in the starting lineup, and Lewis undeniably fills that void.
Wizards receive: Andris Biedrins, Dan Gadzuric, Brandan Wright
Warriors receive: Rashard Lewis
Analysis: It would be tougher for the Wiz to swallow this deal, but it’s still probably worth it. Biedrins has a large contract, but is only 24 years old and could be the perfect compliment to JaVale McGee–a big man who can actually play solid man-to-man defense and secure rebounds. McGee could fly around looking for blocks, and Biedrins would fill in to provide some stability. Gadzuric and Wright add up to almost 11 million dollars in expiring contracts.
The Warriors are openly looking for a deal to spice things up, and have said that anyone on their team is available for the right price. If they made this deal, Golden State could send out a lineup consisting of Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Dorrell Wright, Rashard Lewis, and David Lee. Would that win a championship? No. But it would be an offensive juggernaut, and possibly a playoff contender next season.