The Los Angeles Lakers are exploring all options of improving the team and the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft will be huge in terms of that. The franchise has already begun their pre-draft group workouts and one of the more intriguing players they’ve had a close look at is Pepperdine wing Maxwell Lewis.
Lewis has all the physical tools teams look for in a 3-and-D wing. He measured 6-7.5 in shoes with a 7-foot wingspan and has shown himself to be an absolute knockdown outside shooter, which the Lakers surely need. He has also shown promising skills as a playmaker and a defender at different points of his college career.
His second season at Pepperdine had some ups and some downs, however, but he is apparently impressing in his workouts so far and according to Dan Woike of the L.A. Times, his run with the Lakers was no exception:
Word was Pepperdine wing Maxwell Lewis performed well at his workout with the Lakers last week.
Lewis’ skillset is exactly what teams are looking for in wings in today’s NBA. A shooter capable of playing on or off the ball and can hold his own defensively would fit on any roster and Lewis has the size to guard multiple positions as well.
There are some concerns coming off his sophomore season however as he regressed defensively, namely due to lack of effort. He also struggled mightily shooting from deep during conference play last season, knocking down only 25.4% in 16 conference games. Though more attention from defenses and a bigger offensive load overall could have contributed to that.
These are things that Lakers’ scouts and coaches will surely keep in mind, but is also something he wouldn’t be tasked doing at the NBA level. In particular for the Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the court, he won’t be getting the defense’s primary focus and there will be other playmakers so the onus won’t be on him.
One of the biggest strengths of the Lakers franchise over the past decade has been their ability to identify talent within the draft and Lewis could be one to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
Lakers meet with multiple prospects at NBA Draft Combine
The recent NBA Draft Combine also gave teams opportunities to meet with a number of top prospects in the NBA Draft and the Lakers did just that. The team reportedly spoke to Michigan guard Kobe Bufkin, Kentucky guard Cason Wallace, UConn wing Jordan Hawkins and Indiana big man Trayce Jackson-Davis.
Bufkin, Wallace and Hawkins all seem to be ranked near where the Lakers’ first-round pick lands at 17th overall. Jackson-Davis currently ranks as a borderline first to second-round pick which could put him out of reach in the second round for the Lakers at 47th overall.
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