CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 28: Rashard Lewis #9 of the Washington Wizards and Derrick Brown #4 of the Charlotte Bobcats battle for a ball during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 28, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Remember when it seemed like half the players in the league were free agents? A lot of deals got handed out and by and large they were (comparatively) responsible ones. Then the lockout happened and the amnesty clauses got handed out and most of the especially virulent contracts have vanished before the season kicked off. And that's a big part of what makes it difficult to use Rashard Lewis' contract in trade.
The teams that needed massive cap breaks and/or flexibility were able to self-heal, to an extent. Thus, the relief his contract can offer would have to command several contracts in return, vastly complicating matters. Factor in the trend towards institutional tanking and draft picks are valued higher than ever. Also drop in the plan to be 'GOOD' and your standard BOYD scenario is probably out the window.
And that suggests Ernie Grunfeld and the Wizards will be looking for a player of value in return for Rashard Lewis. The Bobcats got Erick Dampier's partially guaranteed contract in return for Tyson Chandler's expiring deal. That was pre-amnesty. Guess that's why so many beat writers expect the Wiz to buy him out. But there are a few possibilities of interest.
The Philadelphia 76ers are in a highly unstable situation. After a 20-9 start, the team went into freefall and eked into the playoffs. Jrue Holiday hasn't satisfied his detractors, Doug Collins insisted on starting an inconsistent and overloaded Jodie Meeks over Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes couldn't stay healthy, Andre Iguodala's poor foul shooting in tight games didn't help his body language on the court, while Elton Brand is still overpaid, due one more year and Lou Williams is getting ready to opt out of his contract this summer for a bigger deal.
Guess I missed this next rumor...but apparently David Kahn turned down a Martell Webster for Andre Iguodala swap? If Iggy is available for mere cap relief, do the Wiz offer Lewis and figure out a way to make the trade work? (not sure how that might go...but the rights to Lou Williams for balance purposes?) Is there a universe in which the Wiz take on Elton Brand's deal and Philly's 2012 first? Not likely...but some possibilities with Philly. That should also give you an idea of how tough it will be to find a partner.
The problem with trading JaVale McGee was the size of his deal made it difficult to identify a candidate with commensurate value where salaries were matchable. With Rashard Lewis'
$22 million-and-change $23.9 million deal, it's the same problem on the other end of the bell curve. It cost us Nick Young's rights to grease the trade machine, what third team will be available to facilitate a trade? It will take a team overloaded at Wizards' position of need looking to shed a few pounds to help make a trade reality and I'll get more in depth on how that looks around the league on Friday. There are quite a few things that could happen. Is your money on the Wizards sitting tight?