Wednesday , Jun , 20 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Seattle Super Sonics Should Let Free Agent Rashard Lewis Sign With Knicks

Rashard Lewis is officially a free agent and rumors have him signing with the Knicks … Should the Sonics try to retain their three-man? … Or should the Sonics let Lewis and his expensive contract go and rebuild around their second overall pick? … Get this story & analysis here …

Marc Bergman of the N.Y. Post reports that Rashard Lewis is a free agent and could sign with the Knicks:

Good news Knicks fans: Seattle’s Rashard Lewis is indeed a free agent and plans to visit New York for a recruiting trip if Isiah Thomas invites him July 1, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

Thomas will make the 6-9 Lewis his top free-agent priority and hopes to wine and dine him, perhaps on James Dolan’s yacht, in July. Lewis was the center of a mini-controversy yesterday, with the report he could lose his free-agent status on a technicality by opting out a few days too early. Though the contract language was hazy on the date, the Sonics aren’t pursuing it.

The Sonics released a statement yesterday, saying “It’s clearly understood by the Sonics and Rashard Lewis that he is a free agent.”

Agent Tony Dutt, who goes way back with Thomas as Marcus Camby’s first agent, told The Post yesterday Lewis will consider a half-dozen teams. Thomas is not allowed to talk with Lewis until July 1.

The Knicks would have to pull of a sign-and-trade to obtain the silky small forward scorer.

My Quick Take: I don’t think the Sonics want to return. Yes, he’s a border-line all-star, averaging over twenty points per game. And yes, the club will probably have to sign him before unloading the forward to another team as part of a sign-and-trade agreement.

But what has accomplished with Lewis holding down the three-spot?

I’m not blaming the Sonics’ failures on their athletic small forward. However, the organization and Lewis know their partnership isn’t working.

That’s part of the reason Seattle released a statement agreeing to Lewis’ status as a free agent.  On the one  hand, they had a legal obligation to clarify his status. On the other hand, they simply want Lewis to leave.

It’s nothing personal. He’s not a bad guy or player. But he’s not worth a max contract or anything close. After all, the Sonics weren’t even in the playoff race last season and Lewis was raking in a cool ten million dollars.

So why would Seattle pay Lewis even more money? If Lewis returns, the team continues to lose-except now they’re paying 13-15 million dollars per season instead of 10.

There’s no logic in re-signing Lewis. Seattle must rebuild the franchise around their second overall pick.

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