Rashard Lewis would help Lakers' outside shooting
Anytime a Lakers player held the ball on the perimeter last season, the defenses left them wide open. And in Metta World Peace's case, the Staples Center crowd gasped, knowing disaster might ensue.
Saying the Lakers' three-point shooting last season remained a problem doesn't emphasize the severity enough. Their regular-season three-point shooting (35.2%), post-season mark (28.9%) and overall clip from with 16-23 feet (28.9%) exposed all sorts of problems that left the team vulnerable.The perimeter players stubbornly took the open shots. Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol didn't receive enough paint touches as defenses collapsed on them. And Kobe Bryant then felt further compelled to take over, with mixed success.
In something that proves to be a no-brainer, The Times' Mike Bresnahan reports that the Lakers are "monitoring" whether the Washington Wizards will waive Rashard Lewis' two-year, $43.8-million contract through the new amnesty clause. Lewis' 34.7% mark from three-point range last season may have marked his worst percentage since 2002, but the Lakers' supporting cast could help Lewis return to his normal numbers (39%). The Wizards may shed ties with Lewis because of his bulky contract, but the market value will immediately make Lewis more affordable. And for someone who enjoys the limelight, Lewis wouldn't feel overwhelmed with the Hollywood spotlight.
Oh, there are some uncertainities. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman reported that teams under the salary cap could offer Lewis as little as $3 million, and that Lewis wouldn't become a free agent unless he received no bids. Lewis also refused to have surgery on his bothersome right knee. Even if most of the Lakers' perimeter players vowed they worked more on their shooting this off-season, Lewis' résumé still suggests he'd be a better alternative.
— Mark Medina
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Photo: Rashard Lewis played for the Orlando Magic before being traded to the Washington Wizards last season. It's possible the Wizards could waive him via the amnesty clause. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times