Lewis, one of the fastest and youngest players in this draft, was highly productive this past season. Playing 37.6 minutes per outing, the Bama sophomore averaged 18.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, and 2.4 combined steals and blocks per game, with shooting splits of .459/.366/.802. An All-SEC first-team selection, he led the conference in minutes per game (37.6), finished third in assists and steals (1.8) per game, and fifth for points per game. He also ranked at the 92nd percentile nationally for combined assists and points per possession. On the downside, he also topped the SEC in turnovers per game (3.6), and had a modest assist-turnover percentage for a point guard (1.47).
Lewis is a three-level scoring threat, who is also more than capable of facilitating for others. His elite explosiveness off the bounce and his effective changes in speed make it very tough on defenders. He can pull up on a dime for floaters and jumpers, and he aggressively attacks the rim. The Alabama native features a beautiful Euro-step move, makes acrobatic finishes at the rim, and is capable of finishing with either hand. His shot mechanics could improve, as his release point tends to be a little low, and off the catch, he often takes a significant dip to start his motion. Despite the flaws, the 19-year-old had excellent points-per-possession (PPP) numbers this season as a shooter, ranking at the 79th percentile on jumpers off the dribble, and at the 88th percentile off the catch. However, around the basket, Lewis made just 45.7 percent of his half-court shots this season, including floaters/runners, which was due, at least in part, to his small frame.
As a playmaker, Lewis lacks the toolset to be considered elite at this time. His passing accuracy and touch need to improve, as does his decision-making and vision. He also doesn’t use a lot of misdirection and slight of hand. Lastly, he often doesn’t take the best angles when using screens, relying a great deal on his pure speed. This past season, the pick and roll accounted for nearly a third of his possessions (31.3 percent), and in terms of PPP, including the results of passes, he ranked at the 65th percentile, with a turnover rate of 20.1 percent.
Defensively, athleticism is not an issue for Lewis, and he makes his share of impact plays. However, a lack of consistent intensity, experience, size, and strength all prevent him from being elite on this end of the court. He can especially struggle against screen-action plays, such as handoffs and the pick and roll. The sophomore can be difficult to shake, one on one, when he doesn’t have to deal with screens, and he gets his hands on the ball in a number of ways, including deflections, blocks, and rebounds. Considering the high number of minutes that he played this season, he was certainly more than adequate, and as he matures, he could very well emerge as a good defender.
Overall, one could make the argument that Lewis has the best upside among the point guards in this draft class due to his athleticism and youth. At a minimum, he is a lottery prospect. Most of his flaws seem fixable, though it is somewhat of a concern that he appears to lack the innate playmaking skills that other top lead guards in this class appear to have.
— Richard Harris
Dustin Barnes’ Draft Profile
Sources, Credits, and Acknowledgements: Stats used in our scouting reports mainly come from Synergy Sports Technology, RealGM.com, and Sports-Reference.com. Other outside sources are noted with links to the source.