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The Miami Heat and forward Rashard Lewis are close to a deal that would bring the free agent to South Florida for the next two seasons.
The Miami Herald reported Tuesday afternoon that Lewis will sign a two-year deal with the Heat. Lewis will be the second former All-Star in the last week to join the defending NBA champs, after former Seattle Supersonics teammate Ray Allen agreed to a deal with the Heat on Friday.
Miami hosted Lewis for a visit on Saturday, after which his agent said, "It went well." According to the Herald, Lewis will accept the veteran's minimum of $1.35 million, much less than what other teams are offering him. As was the case with Allen, Lewis apparently cares more about winning a championship late in his career than securing a big payday.
However, unlike Allen, Lewis will make $13.7 million from the New Orleans Hornets next season regardless of what happens. The team bought out the last year on his contract after acquiring him in a trade last month.
Lewis is a 39% three-point shooter with 14 years of experience. Last season he averaged 7.8 points over 28 games with the Washington Wizards, hampered by a right knee injury. He has made more three-pointers in his career than all but seven other players (one of which is Ray Allen).
Miami is expected to officially announce the signing of Allen on Wednesday, the first day teams are allowed to sign deals with free agents. An official announcement of a Lewis signing could come shortly thereafter. Between beating the Oklahoma City Thunder (formerly the Seattle Supersonics) in the NBA Finals last month and landing two of the most beloved players in late-Supersonics history, the Heat could become the NBA team of choice in Seattle.
Signing Lewis gives the Heat another wing player who can hit the open looks from downtown that the Big Three will generate. He also might provide some added lineup flexibility, allowing coach Erik Spoelstra to give LeBron James more rest during the postseason.
The Heat still might not be done wooing free agents. TNT's David Aldridge reported Tuesday that Miami is making a run at Grant Hill, who is also being pursued by Oklahoma City and the Los Angeles Lakers.