Can The Orlando Magic Bench The Second Highest-Paid Player In The NBA?

Orlando Magic Rashard Lewis Basketball DunkOnly Kobe Bryant makes more than Rashard Lewis

Photo: Flickr/I’ll Never Grow Up

The Orlando Magic’s $21-million forward Rashard Lewis has struggled so far this season, and that has Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi wondering whether the team would ever relegate its highest-paid player to the bench.To be clear, Lewis probably wasn’t ever worth the $118-million over six years the Magic paid to get him in 2007. But this year his shooting percentages and scoring are well below his career averages, and the Magic have a capable backup in Brandon Bass.

Not only could bringing Lewis off the bench give the team a better chance to win; it could also provide him with a change in routine that sparks a production spike.

But in benching Lewis, the Magic risk embarrassing and ultimately isolating a player it’s stuck with for the remaining three years of his contract. Worse, in the macho world of professional sports, it would be a clear admission that the team made a mistake with the contract.

It’ll be interesting to see whether a professional sports franchise understands the value in recognising a sunk cost.

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