03 July 2007

It's Unofficially Official: ESPN Confirms Lewis Will Sign With Orlando

When ESPN reports something, I tend to believe it. And earlier this morning, ESPN confirmed the rumor that Rashard Lewis will leave the Seattle SuperSonics to sign with the Orlando Magic.

It also confirms that the team will have to let Darko Milicic become an unrestricted free agent if they can't find a taker on someone else's contract:

The price for Lewis' services could grow, though. Unless a sign-and-trade arrangement can be worked out with Lewis' old team or unless it can otherwise shed a contract or two to create more salary-cap space in the next week, Orlando will have to renounce the rights to restricted free agent Darko Milicic to create the cap room to fund such a lucrative deal, instantly making Milicic an unrestricted free agent.
I was a bit cranky last night when I heard that part of the story, but the more I think about it, the calmer I become. Lewis is a top-30 talent in this league. Pairing him with Dwight Howard, who is arguably the league's second- or third-best center, should make the Magic contenders in the East for the next several seasons. It'll be sad to see Darko leave, because he showed a ton of potential in last year's playoffs, but he had still yet to prove himself.

Of course, all of that talk is rendered moot of the Magic are able to dump the necessary salaries so they can retain Milicic and sign Lewis. Let's hope that becomes the case.

1 comment:

TJ said...

Don't cry over Darko yet. The guys reporting the news are a bunch of idiots. It is still very possible that the Magic retain Darko through what Otis calls "creative financing". Or what I like to call, an expensive game of poker.

And if the Magic do lose Darko - well, they just got a 27 year old scoring machine in his place. I think any MLE pay range backup would put up Darko numbers off the bench.