As has been noted several times, the Washington Wizards will have a chance to get out from under the final year of Rashard Lewis' massive contract next summer by buying him out for a partial amount of the money he's guaranteed. Previous reports suggested that number was around $10 million of his $22.7 million salary, and it was based on incentives that seemed impossible to reach. However, according to Michael Lee, Lewis' buyout number will actually be around $13.7 million due to incentives he hit while with the Orlando Magic.
A buyout for Rashard Lewis next season is now worth $13.7 mil, not $10 mil, because RL reached necessary contract incentives in ORL #wizards— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) March 7, 2012
Lewis has additional incentives for his time with the Wizards that could push his number all the way to $17.25 million, according to Sham Sports, but those appear unlikely to be met. I had been told a while back that the buyout number was always going to be a bit higher than $10 million, but wasn't sure how much more. Now, we know.
It'll be interesting to see if this changes anything or if the Wizards knew this all along. I suspect it's the former. Keep in mind: if the Wizards buy out Lewis, the $13.7 million number still counts against the salary cap. If they choose to use the amnesty clause on Lewis, it'll completely wipe that number off the cap, though the Wizards would still need to pay him.
Only thing is, using the clause on Lewis would mean the team wouldn't use it on Andray Blatche, who has three years and $23.4 million left on his deal after this year. That, of course, assumes Blatche is still on the team past March 15.