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Posted at 4:23 PM ET, 01/27/2011

Rashard Lewis on trade rumors: "You've got to block it out"

By Michael Lee

I'm already on the block? (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


Rashard Lewis has been around for little more than a month, but his name has already come up in trade rumors at a time when he is starting to get settled in with his surroundings and his teammates are responding to his veteran leadership.

ESPN.com's Chad Ford listed Lewis among the 10 impact players most likely to be moved by the Feb. 24 trade deadline. The list also includes former Wizard Antawn Jamison, Andre Miller and Zach Randolph. Ford wrote:

"Lewis still has a full $21 million due to him next season and has a partially guaranteed contract for 2012-13 that will pay him a minimum of $10 million, so he's not cheap. But for a team a little closer to competing in the playoffs, he might be worth the risk -- at least, that's what the Wizards are hoping."

The Wizards are 6-12 with Lewis in the lineup, but they have also have quality wins against Utah and Boston. Lewis wasn't acquired to necessarily turn around the team or make them a playoff contender, with the primary objective being to shed Gilbert Arenas's hefty contract (he's guaranteed nearly $30 million more than Lewis over the next three seasons) and the excessive baggage that came with his past few seasons, clouded by injuries and a lengthy suspension. Lewis has brought some professionalism to the team and been a positive influence, despite the poor results on the floor.

When asked about the trade rumors, Lewis didn't sound as if they bothered him too much. He was already dealt with his biggest surprise of the season, when he was awakened from his pre-game nap on Dec. 18 to find out that he was being traded from a championship contender in Orlando to a lottery team in Washington.

"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."

The Wizards certainly didn't acquire Lewis to be a long-term fixture, with the team trying to build a young nucleus around rookie John Wall. Wall has credited Lewis for helping him flourish this month, with his encouraging words and ability to spread the floor.

But as one NBA executive told me recently, Lewis's contract does stunt the possibility of the Wizards to make immediate improvements and places them in a difficult situation because he should play power forward, a position that is currently occupied by Andray Blatche.

At age 31 -- and having been to the Eastern Conference Finals the past two seasons in Orlando and being a part of four 50-win teams in the previous six seasons -- Lewis would probably like to be in a winning situation at this stage in his career. The problem would be finding a taker, since Lewis is the second-highest-paid player in the league -- behind Kobe Bryant -- and has had his production decline the past three seasons, despite a slight uptick with the Wizards.

I haven't heard any particulars about where he could land, but it seems that contract would be pretty difficult to move. Of course, I said the same thing about Arenas's deal, but there isn't an obvious match for Lewis, as there was with Arenas and Orlando.

Lewis said he hasn't had much time to think about being traded again, as he still adjusts to a new system and new city. "It's been a short period of time, and everything moves on the fly, you have to learn on the fly. You don't have time during the summer to learn everything and talk about everything that's going on. Trade happens, you have to learn on the fly, play on the fly and kind of learn what the organization, what type of team they are building as we continue to play. I'm sure there are a number of things that's been talked about."

He also hasn't heard any specific rumors about where he could be dealt. "I have no idea," said Lewis, who is averaging 13.8 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists with the Wizards. "The deadline is coming up, so anything can happen. You never know. I just got to come here and be ready to play basketball everyday and be a leader to some of these young guys. You never know what can happen. Around the trade deadline, I'm sure there's a lot of things that could be going on, not only with this team, but other teams."

By Michael Lee  | January 27, 2011; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  Rashard Lewis  
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Comments

I'd have been really surprised if he hadn't made the list. Here's a 31 year old who can start at two positions, provide outside shooting, and has recently shown an improved attitude towards defense. The contract's the real obstacle, as Mike Lee indicated.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 27, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm starting to feel like i'd be more impressed with them losing all 41 than them stringing together 2 in a row on the road. It takes hard cot damn work to make a basketball team look this bad, to paraphrase Sidney Deane.

Posted by: lilhollywood10 | January 27, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised he's on the list, specifically because of the contract. Looking at the likely, legit contenders, it's hard to see any of them having a specific need for Lewis, at least at that price. It's also hard to imagine that anyone would have enough attractive assets to offer that would (A) entice the Wizards and (B) total up to Lewis's cap number.

But then, there are no untradeable contracts in the NBA, so who knows.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2011 5:23 PM | Report abuse

...San Anontio?

Posted by: oddjob1 | January 27, 2011 5:26 PM | Report abuse

"...San Anontio?"

Posted by: oddjob1 | January 27, 2011 5:26 PM

Don't see it. At PF, he's certainly not gonna take minutes away from Duncan, and they seem to like Blair's toughness and hustle. At SF, he's not really much of an upgrade over Jefferson, to say nothing of Ginobili. Would he be a useful addition to their rotation? Maybe. Would he an impactful enough addition to (A) mean the difference between winning and not winning a title and thus (B) make it worth it for them to take on his huge salary (when they're already over the tax threshold)? Don't see that at all.

Besides, they don't have enough expendable contracts to swap and their draft picks aren't worth much.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 27, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I was very much against Rashard in the beginning because I was not optimistic about his attitude after watching him since the playoffs last year. But he's really been a strong positive influence. I wouldn't mind keeping him around.

But he should probably be traded.

Posted by: crs-1 | January 27, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

nobody want's Blatche, nobody want's McGee... of course Lewis is coming up in talks.

Posted by: SkinzNWiz | January 27, 2011 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Lewis is yet another PF who shoots 3's and is soft under the rim. Does EG even look at tape when he makes trades???

Yes I know, they had to get rid of Gil by any means possible.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | January 27, 2011 5:59 PM | Report abuse

nobody want's Blatche, nobody want's McGee... of course Lewis is coming up in talks.

Posted by: SkinzNWiz
That's pretty simplistic. aAnyway,
I would rather have Arenas back

Posted by: bobilly1 | January 27, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

This is the biggest cluster f_ck in the history of this franchise no hope of making the playoff's, no hope of winning when we play(not even against the drecks of the league) no real upside in terms of the coach. The fan's don't even have a realistic hope of this team turning it around in the near future,yet Ernie Grunfeld(who has basically ruined this team)keeps his job and contiues his stupidity that has basically defined his tenure since he took the job as GM.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 27, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

This is the biggest cluster f_ck in the history of this franchise no hope of making the playoff's, no hope of winning when we play(not even against the drecks of the league) no real upside in terms of the coach. The fan's don't even have a realistic hope of this team turning it around in the near future,yet Ernie Grunfeld(who has basically ruined this team)keeps his job and contiues his stupidity that has basically defined his tenure since he took the job as GM.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 27, 2011 6:20 PM | Report abuse

After looking at Gilbert Arenas's shooting percentage and stats since he started playing for Orlando, I am definitely starting to believe that this was a "Pity" trade by Otis Smith to save Gilbert. Orlando is definitely winning despite Gilbert's lack of contribution. I wonder if Smith is one of the people inquiring about Lewis's availability, again.

Posted by: JohnWWW | January 27, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"Lewis is yet another PF who shoots 3's and is soft under the rim. Does EG even look at tape when he makes trades???- RayPosted by: rmcazz"

Given his limitations, he's actually been pretty good, don't ya think?

But the guys you find offered in trade are not usually the guys you need most.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 27, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

"nobody want's Blatche, nobody want's McGee... of course Lewis is coming up in talks.Posted by: SkinzNWiz"

I imagine someone would be interested in both those players. Question is what they might offer in return...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 27, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't expect Gilbert to add till crunch time in Orlando. Remember, he is still not 100%. Wait till next year.

Trading Lewis at this point would be a cold bucket of water, unless you could get a 1st round pick for him.

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | January 27, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if this was already posted, but....


After getting cut by the Bobcats in training camp (and dealing with the stigma surrounding him as a member of the Gilbert Arenas locker-room gun incident last season), Javaris Crittenton headed to China to play.

But he was released by his team last month.

And now, according to sources close to the situation communicating with Scott Schroeder of FanHouse, Crittenton has signed a contract to play in the D-League.

Schroeder writes that the Dakota Wizards, at the top of the D-League waiver wire, are expected to claim him.

At only 23 years of age, a strong showing in the D-League could net him either a 10-day contract this season or a training camp invite next fall in hopes of making a final NBA team roster next season.

Posted by: ts35 | January 27, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

hey Mike Lee - wake up next time you try to write a post. Can't even make it past 2 paragraphs. Writers should be able to WRITE first and foremost.... fail.

Posted by: unkonchus | January 27, 2011 7:45 PM | Report abuse

"But he was released by his team last month."

Weird because Javaris apparently averaged 26 points a game in China.

Posted by: Samson151 | January 27, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

hey Mike Lee - wake up next time you try to write a post. Can't even make it past 2 paragraphs. Writers should be able to WRITE first and foremost.... fail.

Posted by: unkonchus | January 27, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

"hey Mike Lee - wake up next time you try to write a post. Can't even make it past 2 paragraphs. Writers should be able to WRITE first and foremost.... fail.Posted by: unkonchus"

OK I'm lost. Somebody explain to me what this is referring to?

Posted by: Samson151 | January 27, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Here's more from Bullets Forever on the counter to Kevin Broom's article on Nick Young. The author of this piece admits he loves Nick, which will make some folks here very very happy. But he also gives some of the credit to Flip Saunders...

http://www.bulletsforever.com/2011/1/27/1959695/is-nick-young-good-enough-to-be-a-starting-shooting-guard-on-a-good

Posted by: Samson151 | January 27, 2011 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Ian Thomsen of SI on Cleveland's rebuild:

"Threatening the NBA record of 23 consecutive losses in a single season (a low shared by the 1995-96 Vancouver Grizzlies and 1997-98 Denver Nuggets) is likely to have a more positive impact on the franchise than if the Cavs were now limping toward a respectable 39-win season. Now the Cavs and their fans know exactly who they are and what they need to do. They're going to earn a high pick in the draft, and that choice will represent the team's first meaningful long-term step following The Decision."

"A lot of franchises are treading water this season in waiting for the financial relief of a new collective bargaining agreement. At least the Cavs can claim to be a league leader in terms of maximizing their revenues, and the opening of his downtown casino this year across the street from his arena will empower Dan Gilbert and make him as powerful in Cleveland as any other NBA owner is in any other city. He can also claim that the last several years taught him how to -- and how not to -- build a contender."

"The term the Cavaliers are embracing today is sustainability: They want to eventually contend for and ultimately win championships, which means building a team that will endure, which means accepting it will take years to build. The harsh results of this season have focused everyone on that lesson."

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/ian_thomsen/01/27/cavaliers.losing/index.html#ixzz1CIBHlbRf

Posted by: Samson151 | January 27, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

rashard lewis is a very good player and has a very good basketball IQ. that said, he's not cheap (probably overpriced), the wizards don't need him because they're in the rebuilding mode, and he should be on a playoff team at this point in his career. it would make perfect sense for the wizards to trade him. the wizards aren't even remotely close to being a championship contender and need to continue in rebuilding mode for now. i'd also like to see us trade blatche as i dont think he's the right power forward to have next to mcgee...we need a banger. jared sullinger anyone?

Posted by: swishjobs | January 27, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Well, if we can't get a decent return for Lewis, I don't see why we shouldn't keep him. The Wizards have plenty of cap space and he's a really good player. IMHO, why not just keep him even if he's a bit overpriced?

Posted by: charley42 | January 27, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

What kind of distractions does this cat need to block out? The team's all but eliminated from the playoffs and are trying to make history by losing all of their road games. The biggest distraction is the roster on his own team. He probably goes home each night and prays for world peace, the health of his kids and a trade to any other team but this one.

Posted by: randysbailin | January 27, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

RE: LEWIS:

Why can't he stay and teach these kids a thing or two? There's been real stability and development amongst the young guys since his arrival. Hell, that alone is worth a year of over-paid expertise. No one else with any ability wanted in the house that POLLIN built. May as well keep a winner who had no choice in the matter. Especially since he's taken to the role.

Posted by: glawrence007 | January 28, 2011 12:07 AM | Report abuse

dysfunction,dysfunction,dysfunction.ernie and flip just dont have a clue.ernie doesnt know who or what to get in a player,and flip doesnt have a clue as to how to coach-up what ernie gets.its just a smaller version of the burgundy and gold!thats all it is

Posted by: billydee123 | January 28, 2011 12:35 AM | Report abuse

dysfunction,dysfunction,dysfunction.ernie and flip just dont have a clue.ernie doesnt know who or what to get in a player,and flip doesnt have a clue as to how to coach-up what ernie gets.its just a smaller version of the burgundy and gold!thats all it is

Posted by: billydee123 | January 28, 2011 12:37 AM | Report abuse

The article mentioned that Lewis is adjusting to a new system, which is news to me because I haven't seen any evidence the Wizards have a system. The other thing I would like to point out is that Lewis only played PF at Orlando, he was a SF in Seattle.

Posted by: justgeoff | January 28, 2011 5:25 AM | Report abuse

Maybe we could trade Lewis for Lebron and Bosh straight up. Surprised I haven't seen some idiots posts like this already!

Posted by: fearturtle44 | January 28, 2011 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Lewis has been a solid addition. No drama, plays smart, works his tail off when he's in the game. It's hard to imagine a better veteran role model on a team that's rebuilding. He can still contribute.

Of course if the right deal came along, you'd make a move, but it's hard to see the pieces coming together.

Posted by: JPRS | January 28, 2011 8:04 AM | Report abuse

BLACHE..will never be a consistent presence.
One day he shows up...the next..not only is he a non factor on offense, he takes stupid shots that are forced..and turns the ball over.
Even with the salary owed Lewis..he is a stable influence on the young players..as Wall has attested.
You can`t just have a team of young inexperienced players, while rebuilding.
Other than Young..who else can really shoot the three? You must have several guys that teams must worry about from longer range. If you don`t, they will bunch up and challenge the Wiz to shoot from the outside...which will be an exercise in futility.
McGee has continued to show improvement..I think he is second in the league in blocked shots, and his presence forces opponents to alter their shots if they try to go to the
basket. He needs to be able to score more from 5-7 feet from the basket...i.e. develop a jump hook.

Posted by: blazerguy234 | January 28, 2011 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Let's be clear. Lewis' contract is astronomical but we do have cap space. His veteran presence is what has been sorely lacking on this team. We need veteran big men on this team to get in Andray's face and stay on top of McGee. He does have some value here but I'm not sure it's worth the price. Obviously the only reason we got him was so we could part ways with Arenas. I seriously doubt any team out there (barring injury) is looking to make a move for Lewis. He has another year left on his contract. Next year he will be a more tradeable asset for a team looking to dump salary. Anybody heard anything about Josh Howard? I could see a tremendous difference in the teams attitude when he was on the court. We miss him badly.

Posted by: MaxnDC | January 28, 2011 8:30 AM | Report abuse

"BTW, when LarryInClintonMD asks if I think Hinrich is a 'good defensive player', I answer, yes I do. If he'd asked me if Kirk were a great defender, I'd have said no.

But I tend to value hard work and consistency over the spectacular, so that may be why I value certain players more than others.

Posted by: Samson151"


@Samson,

You don't have to defend this position. KH has made the NBA All-Defensive team in his career. Enough said. Has NY? Nah, didn't think so. KH has perhaps lost a half step at this stage in his career, but he is still a very good defender and, most importantly, cares about defense. I remember during GA's glory days when he was dropping 50 and 60 points a game, KH would just dog GA on defense to the point where you could tell GA was annoyed and bothered by it.

And, defense is a team concept for sure that requires communication, which is why when KH, RL, and JH are on the court this team is very competent defensively. It's when AB, JM, et al are on the court that things get to be scary. They barely know where they are supposed to be let alone help out teammates. Well, with Blatche it's more a matter of effort/ laziness. Anyway, you get my point. That's where the breakdowns start. It's communication, leadership, working together, effort, etc.. It's not one guy who is supposed to consistently stay in front of their man. That is impossible. The last player that could come close to that was Gary Payton (the glove) and he is a HOF bc of it. In basketball, the offense simply has the upper hand particularly since the new rules were implemented to eliminate the Knicks/Heat tactics of the 90's.

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 28, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Pat Riley quote on KH:

"I didn't accuse him of anything, I'm going to tell you exactly what I think about him, OK? I think he's one of the top defenders in the game, in the league. He reminds me of Jerry Sloan, he reminds me of Michael Cooper. And just like the Chicago Bulls whined about Dwyane, who was getting too many free throws, a great defender like Kirk Hinrich gets away with more." "He's into you, he's relentless. He has a reputation as a tough defender and he gets away with more.""

Posted by: rphilli721 | January 28, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

This is the biggest cluster f_ck in the history of this franchise no hope of making the playoff's, no hope of winning when we play(not even against the drecks of the league) no real upside in terms of the coach. The fan's don't even have a realistic hope of this team turning it around in the near future,yet Ernie Grunfeld(who has basically ruined this team)keeps his job and contiues his stupidity that has basically defined his tenure since he took the job as GM.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 27, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abus

As long as we have a fan base with attitudes like you have we dont deserve a winning team. Why do you think you deserve a winner when all you do is trash them and call them names and want all the players traded and the coaches and GM fired every year? DC has a terrible fan base. You dont deserve a winning team because you behave like losers yourselves.

Posted by: ged0386 | January 28, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Read more: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/ian_thomsen/01/27/cavaliers.losing/index.html#ixzz1CIBHlbRf

Posted by: Samson151 | January 27, 2011 9:16 PM | Report abuse

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ who gives a hoooteffin nanny about the cavs man??

trade i would do is...i would look for contending teams on the edge.. ie (atlanta,chicago,denver,oklahoma,charlotte,boston,indiana) look for players that have upside (like caron butler in his early years or larry hughes) and arent really contributing to their team. then match up how they can help us long term. we need a bruiser downlow and a small forward. so with that being said...a good suitable partner with salary matches would be memphis and Zach Randolph. he instantly gives us a bully downlow and we can be in a better position to deal blatche to a team thats on the Cusp of a playoff berth like Phoenix..and we can pick up a Mikael Pietrus.


Mcgee
Randolph
Peitrus
Young
Wall...

Posted by: mrhney03 | January 28, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

oh yea.. Kirk Hinrich would be good trade bait too. if we can package him with blatche and a second round draft pick..id knock on indiana's door and see whats up with Granger

Posted by: mrhney03 | January 28, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

The Wiz are focused on becoming a contender, at least 3 or 4 years down the road. All of their moves since Ted L. took over must seem bizarre and stupid to those fans who are focused on the current team's line-up. This year, it is all about flexibility, and keeping the young players who may help down the road.

So far, the Wiz have Wall. They have some maybes in Blatche, Young and McGee, either as starters or key reserves on a good team. Outside of Wall, they may or may not make it. The other pieces come in the draft or through trades for young guys with upside. That's where flexibility comes in. This is all great news to those hoping for better days ahead, rather than patching for right now.

Posted by: EdDC | January 28, 2011 1:57 PM | Report abuse

We need offensive boards and points in the paint... We are one of the most fundamentally unsound teams in the league. Guys take horrible shots with no one in the vicinity of the basket. Particularly AB... he had some terrible mentors with the "big 3" constantly focused on getting numbers, not wins.

The answer would have been Zach Randolph, but Ernie didn't pull the trigger. Dejuan Blair would have been a good draft pick as well...

Posted by: jzafied | January 28, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Dallas would be interested in Lewis since Caron Butler is out for the year.

Posted by: slick3 | January 29, 2011 8:39 AM | Report abuse

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