2023 Lakers draft prospect profile: Maxwell Lewis

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Early in the season, when the Los Angeles Lakers got off to a horrible 2-10 start, there was fear that they would end up giving up a very high draft pick this summer to the New Orleans Pelicans.

Per the terms of 2019’s Anthony Davis trade, the Pelicans had the right to swap first-round picks with L.A. When the Purple and Gold struggled in October and November, there was even a bit of fear the pick the team may give up what would’ve been the No. 1 pick overall, meaning it would’ve surrendered the rights to French phenom Victor Wembanyama.

Instead, the Lakers turned things around starting in February, and therefore they will end up keeping their pick, which will be No. 17 overall.

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They recently worked out a very intriguing prospect who could be taken with that No. 17 pick, and his name is Maxwell Lewis.

Lewis has lots of upside at a position the Lakers need help at

At 6-foot-7, Lewis is a legitimate 3-and-D wing, and he can play the small forward position, which would bode well for L.A., which has enough viable guards as of now.

He’s a solid 3-point shooter, and although he made just 34.8 percent of his attempts from downtown this season for Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., scouts feel his potential in that area is greater than his accuracy would suggest.

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They think highly of his shooting motion and mechanics, which may be more important than one’s raw shooting efficiency at this point.

Lewis also has some ability to score off the dribble, in transition and even in the post, although he isn’t a truly elite or explosive athlete and is turnover-prone. He averaged 17.1 points a game while shooting 46.8 percent from the field this season, and he also contributed 5.7 rebounds and 2.8 assists a contest.

It should be noted that his production fell off later in the season as opposing defenses keyed on him more often.

Defensively, Lewis has the ability to contest shots, block shots and get steals and deflections. He appears to be able to guard players at multiple positions, but he can have trouble staying with smaller, quicker guards.

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At 195 pounds, he will need to add some muscle to truly thrive as a wing in the NBA.

Lewis is projected to go in the middle or toward the end of the first round of this June’s draft, and if he works on his inconsistencies on the defensive end, he could become the type of wing the Lakers have needed for years.

Story originally appeared on LeBron Wire

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