Since being signed last season by the Miami Heat, Rashard Lewis has been given minimal playing time. This could be due to multiple things, including lingering injuries, and also playing a position that the Heat are very deep at. Lewis was signed for one main reason though, to stretch the floor.
During his last season with the Seattle Supersonics, Lewis averaged over 22 points per game, shooting over 39 percent from beyond the arc. This is why the Orlando Magic traded for him. Having a stretch forward that can shoot extremely well from beyond the arc does wonders for your offense. When Lewis was coupled with Dwight Howard in Orlando, it created a fierce inside-outside game that was near impossible to guard. Doubling Howard in the paint would surely leave one of the many three point shooters they had open, including Lewis. This was how the Magic were able to make it all the way to the NBA Finals before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009.
Heading into the 2013-2014 season, Lewis could potentially see an increase in minutes due to the release of Mike Miller. Although Lewis is a forward, his presence in the paint won’t be needed as much as his ability to draw defenders out to the three point line. This will create much needed space for both Dwyane Wade and LeBron James to operate in the paint. Lewis will need to shoot higher than 38 percent from beyond the arc (his average last season with Miami) in order to see consistent minutes off the bench.