Best Landing Spots for Kira Lewis
With the NBA Draft lottery taking place this week, mock drafts got just a little more accurate. Former Alabama point guard, Kira Lewis, has been projected as a first rounder for several weeks now, but with his specific skillset there are few teams in range who could utilize him properly.
Lewis will most likely go off the board in the mid first round to a team looking for a more developmental player. His blend of 3-point shooting and speed give him the ability to really stretch the floor in transitions, which is very valuable in today's NBA; however, his turnover problems will be a red flag for many teams. The NBA has been and is continuing to shift to a more 3-point friendly game, which bodes well for Lewis.
As for his best fits, three teams with mid round picks make the most sense for Lewis: The Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers.
Orlando Magic - 15th Overall
The Orlando Magic hold the 15th overall pick in this years draft, and would be an excellent fit for Lewis. Currently at point guard, the Magic have an aging DJ Augustin, a question mark in Markelle Fultz, and a bench player at best in Michael Carter-Williams.
DJ Augustin is 32 now and is a career 37% 3-point shooter, meaning he would be a perfect point guard for Kira Lewis to learn behind as he can find commonalities in their games. Markelle Fultz has been a question mark since he came to the league. After the 2017 1st-overall pick suffered a mystery shoulder injury that completely altered his shooting form, he is finally beginning to see the court again. Fultz has put up decent numbers in his time on the court, but with his injury history being such an unknown, it is hard to see him as a long term solution for the Magic. Finally, Michael Carter-WIlliams makes up the third point guard spot on the roster. While at one time MCW may have had a promising career ahead of him after winning Rookie of the Year in 2014, he has since shown he just isn't a starting caliber player. He has bounced around the league, never staying anywhere more than two seasons, so he will most likely move on from the Magic sooner than later.
Lewis to the Magic seems like a good fit for the young core the Magic have with Aaron Gordon, Mo Bamba, and Jonathan Isaac.
Miami Heat - 20th Overall
The Miami Heat, who hold the 20th pick, are a more interesting landing spot for Lewis, as they are more mature team with a lot more veteran presence. The Heat's starting point guard is 11-year veteran, Goran Dragic, who has been nothing but solid for Miami in his six seasons there. Along with experience comes age; however, and Dragic is pushing the edge of his career at 34 years old. The Heat are also home to other veterans, such as Jimmy Butler, Andre Igoudala, and Jae Crowder meaning Lewis could easily learn a lot from some of the league's most experienced. Aside from the good situation for Lewis to be brought into, the main reason this fit works so well is the extreme need for depth at guard for the Heat. After Goran Dragic the next man up is Jimmy Butler, who isn't a true point guard. The Heat will almost definitely go after a guard this October, and Lewis would be an excellent choice.
Philadelphia 76ers - 21st Overall
The Philadelphia 76ers are in a very tough spot. Clearly "the process" has not worked and it is time to move on and start again. Getting beat by the Celtics every year is getting you nowhere closer to a championship. The only remaining question is: Who gets traded? Do the 76ers want to get rid of Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons?
Obviously they cannot play well enough together to compete for a championship, so it's time to trade one and move on. Ben Simmons, in his four years in the NBA, has attempted twenty-four 3-point shots and made two of them. He can pass the ball and facilitate extremely well, (averaging 8.0 assists/game) but when you are as one dimensional as a sheet of paper, there is only so much that good court vision can do.
The 76ers would be smart to trade Ben Simmons, most likely securing a second first round pick in this years draft, and try to build around Embiid. Kira Lewis, while he may not have quite the passing prowess as Ben Simmons, is an excellent passer, and combined with his 3-point shooting could open up many more styles of play for this 76ers team.