Photo by Robert Padgett, Reuters
Rashard Lewis is coming to Orlando.
RealGM.com quotes WKMG, a news station based here in Orlando, as reporting that Lewis will sign with the Magic on July 11th. His deal is reportedly worth $75 M over five seasons. The item also says that the Magic will allow Darko Milicic to become an unrestricted free agent.
UPDATE: Although the RealGM link is still active, there's nothing to be found about the Lewis signing on WKMG's website, which certainly calls into question the legitimacy of the report.
If this news is indeed true, I have to say I'm disappointed. How can I be so let down when the top player on my free-agency wishlist is apparently coming to Orlando? Because Otis Smith has been telling Magic fans for months that re-signing Darko would be the Magic's top priority. Now, it appears as though that wasn't the truth after all. If the Magic were truly intent on retaining Darko, they would have tried to find a way to clear more salary-cap room, which would have enabled them to both re-sign Darko and sign a big-name free agent. Would it really have been that difficult to find a suitor for Hedo Turkoglu? Trading him would have cleared an additional $5 M in cap space, which certainly would have helped keep the Dwight/Darko/Free-Agent-to-be-Named-Later vision of the future intact.
Again, this news is not official by any means, but if it is, I'm not exactly thrilled. I feel like I've been lied to, and that's not something I take to kindly.