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NBA Free Agency 2011: Washington Wizards Keeping Rashard Lewis Despite New Amnesty Rules, Report Says

The Washington Wizards have already said they have no plans to use the amnesty clause to release Rashard Lewis, a veteran who is owed $22 million next year and $23 million (though not all guaranteed) in 2012-13. That stance apparently hasn't changed, despite new ruled reported by Zach Lowe of Sports Illustrated that allow teams to apply salary for waived players towards going to the 85 percent salary floor.

As Michael Lee of the Washington Post reports, the Wizards' desire to keep Lewis was not just financial:

Cutting Lewis would’ve placed the Wizards well below the projected salary floor of $49 million and forced the team to use the savings to sign players from what is considered a weak free agent class. But the Wizards weren’t holding on to Lewis strictly for financial purposes. Lewis, 31, is healthier after recovering from tendinitis in his right knee for much of last season and still just two years removed from his all-star prime.

Lewis was acquired last season from the Orlando Magic in the trade for Gilbert Arenas. The Wizards are hoping he can keep the seat warm at small forward for rookies Jan Vesely and Chris Singleton.

For more Wizards coverage, please visit Bullets Forever, SB Nation's Wizards blog. For a complete list of 2011 NBA free agents, please visit SBNation.com.