Heat reserve forward Rashard Lewis has a minimum-salary player option for next season, and he plans to exercise it, as HoopsWorld's Bill Ingram tweets. Lewis signed a two-year deal with the Heat last summer after the Pelicans bought him out of his previous contract for nearly $13.5MM.
"I'm with the Miami Heat. I don't plan on opting out at all," Lewis said.
The 33-year-old is set to make $1,399,507 in what would be his 16th NBA season in 2013/14, the minimum for a player with 10 or more years of experience. He saw scant playing time for the Heat during the regular season, averaging 5.2 points in 14.4 minutes per game, the lowest numbers in both categories since his rookie season. In the playoffs, he's been relegated to garbage time, logging just 40 total minutes.
He'd be hard-pressed to make much more than the minimum on the open market, though money may not be much of an object for a player whose career earnings totaled nearly $139MM coming into this season, according to Basketball-Reference. That's largely the product of a six-year, $113MM deal he signed with the Magic back in 2007. This was to have been the final season of that deal, and he forfeited about $9.3MM when New Orleans waived him following his trade from the Wizards. If the Pelicans had kept him, he'd have made a staggering $22,699,551 this year.
With Lewis likely around again next season, the Heat figure to have more tax trouble. Miami has more than $86MM in salary on the books for 2013/14.