Lewis' role pivotal for Wiz in 2012

Lewis' role pivotal for Wiz in 2012
December 8, 2011, 3:01 pm
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Right now, Rashard Lewis is penciled in as the starting small forward for the Wizards, but what you should hope for is that one of the rookies -- either Jan Vesely or Chris Singleton -- can supplant Lewis at that position at some point this season.

The Wizards like Lewis' veteran leadership and still think he can play at a high level, but because of his enormous contract that ends after next season and his age (32), he won't be a Wizard for years to come.

The Wizards still think Lewis can be a factor because they could easily have amnestied his hefty contract and let him go, but they didn't. President Ernie Grunfeld and Coach Flip Saunders both say Lewis has plenty left in his playing tank.

"Put it on the floor, shoot perimeter, and also be a more diversified player, not a one-dimensional player, and give us leadership," Saunders said."He gave us more leadership last year than I thought even he could, even when he wasnt playing."

Lewis was dogged by a bad knee after he came over in that trade with Orlando last season, and when he did play he averaged 11.4 points a game in 31 contests.

Lewis was spectacular for Orlando as they made a run to the NBA Finals in 2009, hitting clutch shots game after game in the playoffs, and the Wizards are hoping he can recapture some of that glory.