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2020 NBA Draft profiles: Kira Lewis

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Adding the high-octane guard could pay dividends in the medium term.

Alabama v Auburn Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When it comes to guards in the 2020 draft, it’s a bit of a crap shoot. Outside of a handful of surefire top picks like LaMelo Ball and Anthony Edwards, you get the feeling by reading a glut of various mock drafts that there isn’t a great feel for where many of these other guards will end up.

Such is the case for Kira Lewis who has been mocked anywhere from a mid lottery pick to a mid-20s first rounder. If he were available for the Mavericks at 18, they’d be looking at adding a speedy guard to their frontcourt rotation who has shown positive indicators for growth as an NBA player.

The Specs

  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 165
  • Wingspan: 6’5.5”
  • Standing Reach: 8’3”

Key Notes

Offense

  • A speedy, athletic guard who’s able to penetrate the lane.
  • Graded “Very Good” as a P&R ball handler and transition player.
  • Graded “Excellent” as a spot up shooter, on catch-and-shoots, as a cutter, and hand off player.
  • 36.6% 3-point shooter and 80.2% free throw shooter are positive indications for his shooting at the next level.
  • 65% of his assists in the half court offense led to a 3.
  • Can be a streaky shooter.
  • A sometimes reckless driver who could benefit from slowing down a bit to help improve his vision.

Defense

  • Willing defender who doesn’t take plays off on either end.
  • Quickness allows him to get through screens and stick to his man.
  • Can sometimes lose his man off ball.
  • Size and weight make him unlikely to be an option to switch on to bigger players.

Active Player Comparisons

  • If everything goes wrong: Every other small guard the Mavs have drafted the last decade who we no longer speak about
  • If everything goes right: Lou Williams
  • Most Realistic Outcome: Darren Collison with “modern NBA” upside

Stats and Accomplishments

  • Two-year starter during both years he played at Alabama
  • Averaged 50/36.6/80.2 shooting and 18.5 points per game in his final season

Best Games Last Season

3 Key Things

  • Another Guard?

It’s certainly debatable as to whether the Mavericks should even bother taking a guard in this draft with players like Tim Hardaway Jr, Delon Wright, Seth Curry, and Jalen Brunson under contract for the 2020-21 season. (Plus Trey Burke making a great case to be brought back after his bubble heroics.)

It’s true the team isn’t exactly bereft of guard talent, though we will likely be losing J.J. Barea and Courtney Lee from the lineup moving forward. Plus with Hardaway on the final year of his deal, it may be the perfect time to bring in a player with a high offensive upside who could potentially step right into the rotation in his second year.

  • Playmaker Potential

The great thing about having Luka Doncic on your team is you can ask him to pretty much do everything. The next question, though, is whether it’s actually good for your team to have to ask one player to do everything all the time.

As mentioned, Trey Burke’s bubble emergence showed how beneficial another playmaker can be to a team — particularly who can lead the second unit offense. Lewis certainly looks to have the potential to be that kind of player, and particularly one that would fit well into the Mavericks’ offense with his P&R skills and ability to kick to open 3-point shooters. That he can hold his own defensively is a nice touch as well.

  • One Speed Player

It’s certainly never bad to be a highly athletic player. Lewis’ speed and body control have allowed him to create space and find opportunities for teammates. That’s not to say he relies solely on his physical abilities - he looks to be a high IQ player, which is something coach Rick Carlisle demands of his ball handlers - but his full-speed attack doesn’t always allow the game to slow down around him and he can get into the habit of forcing some passes. It also likely hasn’t helped his numbers for shooting off the dribble with runners in the lane and finishing around the rim. Two areas where he’s only average compared to his jump shot and catch and shoot numbers.

The Checklist

Role with the Mavericks

As a rookie, You’d hope that Lewis would be able to get time to compete for a spot against players like Brunson and potentially Burke with the intention being that the team is able to find a long-term solution for a second unit lead ball handler amongst them.

With more guard minutes soon to open up down the line for the Mavericks, his offensive upside and passing seem like a natural fit to that role, assuming his development goes as planned.

Summary

This would be a pick many fans would surely feel uneasy about given Dallas’ history drafting mid-round guards. However, the if the 2020 draft is deep in any one position, it’s that combo guard role, so if there’s a gem to be found in the mid first round, that’s likely where it would be coming from.

Not to mention, if Kira Lewis is even available at 18, the Mavericks’ would do well to select him simply on a “best player available” basis, as he seems to be moving up some draft boards as player evaluations begin in earnest.

He may not be the player who could have the biggest impact in year one, but his long term potential makes up for that even as the Mavs are arguably taking their first steps in to “win now” territory coming off of a postseason showing that proved they have the star power needed to compete. Filling out the rest of the team with players like Lewis could coalesce into quite a contender.