Free agent Lewis agrees to terms with Heat

  • By Barry Jackson The Miami Herald
  • Tuesday, July 10, 2012 5:20pm
  • SportsSports

MIAMI — Days after adding Ray Allen, the Miami Heat continued to upgrade its supporting cast on Tuesday, agreeing to terms with forward Rashard Lewis.

His agent confirmed he will sign with the Heat.

Lewis, who turns 33 on Aug. 8, opted to take the $1.35 million minimum salary from the Heat instead of potentially more from Atlanta. He also had drawn interest from the Knicks and Spurs.

His signing gives the Heat a “stretch” power forward who does most of his offensive damage from the perimeter. Like Allen, Lewis can help spread the floor and create more space for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to drive to the basket.

Lewis, 6-10, is a career 38.8 percent three-point shooter, with 1,690 made threes in his 14 seasons, including 220, 168 and 87 in the three seasons prior to this past one. He has career averages of 16.1 points, on 45.4 percent shooting, and a modest 5.6 rebounds.

Lewis was limited to 57 games in 2010-11 and 28 games last season because of injuries, including soreness in his right knee and a bone bruise in his left knee. He averaged just 7.8 points and 3.9 rebounds for Washington last season, shooting 38.5 percent from the field and just 23.9 percent on threes (16 for 67).

But Lewis is determined to resurrect his career with a championship contender.

Drafted 32nd overall out of a Houston high school, Lewis spent his first nine seasons with Seattle, his next 3½ with Orlando (which gave him a six-year, $118 million contract) and the next 1½ with Washington. He was traded in June to New Orleans, which bought him out for $13.7 million.

An All-Star in 2004-05 and 2008-09, Lewis was suspended the first 10 games of the 2009-10 season for testing positive for a banned substance.

He figures to share power forward duties with Udonis Haslem, starting small forward LeBron James and Shane Battier, who started at power forward during much of the playoffs after playing mostly small forward during the regular season.

With Lewis’ signing, the Heat has 13 players under contract.

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