The Miami Heat have a tendency of signing players as projects with varying results.
In 2008 it was Shaun Livingston, who only played four games with the Heat before being traded. Last season it was Eddy Curry, who played sparingly and didn’t see any action in the playoffs.
This time around Miami signed Rashard Lewis. So far in the season this signing has looked surprisingly good.
Lewis came into the 2012-13 NBA season as an unknown for the Heat. While he was signed along with Ray Allen as new perimeter threats to surround the ‘Big 3’ of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, injuries caused many to doubt his effectiveness.
Knee problems ailed Lewis after he was traded from the Orlando Magic to the Washington Wizards. Those problems along with his large contract made Lewis more of a burden in Washington. Even with these strikes against him, the Wizards didn’t use their amnesty clause on Lewis. Instead Washington traded him in a salary dump to the New Orleans Hornets last off season where he was bought out of his contract, thereby making him a free agent.
Now in Miami with a two-year veteran minimum contract, Lewis is experiencing a sort of renaissance. He currently ranks near the top in the league in three-point shot percentage along with Ray Allen. That rank can be considered a benefit of playing alongside James. Lewis has also shown other aspects of his game such as a desire to play inside on offense. Even as his defensive play leaves much to be desired, Lewis’s overall play was enough to be inserted into the starting lineup Thursday night against the San Antonio Spurs in place of an injured Shane Battier.
Even though the season is young, Lewis has proven his worth for Miami.