NBA Free Agents 2012: Why Miami Heat's Pursuit of Rashard Lewis Is a Mistake

Amit BatraCorrespondent IIIJuly 3, 2012

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)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

There have been reports from The Sun Sentinel that the Miami Heat are interested in acquiring Rashard Lewis through free agency. 

Miami could be making a mistake by signing Lewis.

The former Orlando Magic forward averaged a mere 7.8 points a game and 3.8 rebounds.  To say that the 33-year-old is past his prime is an understatement.

The Heat should be focusing on acquiring other free agents such as Ray Allen, Steve Nash and Jason Terry.  The Heat need three-point threats, especially with the prospects of both Mike Miller and James Jones retiring.  Allen will fit that bill, even at his age.

Lewis dealt with knee injuries for the majority of last season, only being able to play in 28 games. 

Lewis is a talent, but has substantially decreased in statistics over the years.  He's not the player he was when the Orlando Magic made it to the NBA finals.  Obviously the Heat like Lewis for his height and shooting ability, but he certainly isn't at the level he once was a few years ago.  Time has caught up to the former All-Star. 

Lewis is a guy who wants to play on a contending team, but how much will be contribute on this type of team?

Let's not forget that this guy is also big trouble off the court.  He doesn't have the mentality to stay in line.


He's had legal troubles and has been a problem with teammates and coaches. Lewis has dealt with a DUI when he was on the Seattle Sonics for one.  Then, he was suspended 10 games for a banned substance prior to the 2009-2010 season. 

He's not a guy the Heat necessarily need to deal with.

Signing Lewis is certainly a stretch if the Heat are trying to pursue the forward.  This deal would have worked in the past, but Lewis' productivity has gone down in recent years.

There are other names the Heat can pursue obviously.  It will also be interesting to see how much the Heat's draft pick, LSU center Justin Hamilton, is able to contribute up front. 

Other interest comes from center Marcus Camby.  This would be an ideal signing for Miami in its quest for a true center that has a ton of experience.

If the Heat want to be smart in offseason acquisitions, they then need to stay away from Rashard Lewis.