The 2020 NBA Draft is approaching and despite the coronavirus pandemic, we need to start looking at prospects and where they might land. After the NBA Draft Lottery takes place, teams will know where they’re selecting in the first round. Even though we don’t know where each team will pick, there’s no reason we can’t start speculating where prospects will end up on draft night. In this segment, we’ll be looking at each top prospect and breaking down their best and worst possible destination in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Kira Lewis Jr., PG, Alabama
Best possible destination: Philadelphia 76ers
Although Lewis spent two seasons at Alabama, he didn’t turn 19 until April. He was the youngest player in Division I basketball last season and averaged 13.5 points per game on 31.6 minutes per night as a 17-year-old, earning him SEC All-Freshman honors. Lewis returned to average 18.5 points, 4.8 rebound, and 5.2 assists with solid shooting splits to earn All-SEC First Team honors the following season. He has a ton of upside and is projected to go just outside of the lottery in most mock drafts, but could be selected with a top-20 pick.
Lewis is a little underweight (165 pounds) and needs to work on building strength, but his speed in the open court is terrifying. He can use change of pace to get to the rim but is also an efficient shooter from the perimeter and at the free throw line. The 76ers seem to constantly be in search of more shooting, but could also use a secondary distributor and ball-handler. Only Ben Simmons and Al Horford are averaging more than 4.0 assists per game this season. It’s evident that there needs to be a another guard who can make plays for others, and Lewis can do that. Philadelphia has plenty of top-notch defenders, so it should look to address a different need.
Worst possible destination: Denver Nuggets
Denver showed that it doesn’t have room for young guards after moving Malik Beasley to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Beasley’s scoring average jumped from 7.9 points to 20.9 points following the trade and nearly saw his playing time double. Lewis isn’t quite as developed, so it would be hard for him to find time.
Nikola Jokic handles the playmaking, Jamal Murray starts at point guard, and Monte Morris comes off the bench to be a reserve floor general and distributor. Then there’s Gary Harris, who has begun to flourish as a perimeter defender. Michael Porter Jr. is on the rise as well, which could limit Lewis’ offensive impact even more. Other teams could have a real use for Lewis’ skills in the near future.