Why have one ridiculously fast and flashy point guard when you can have two!?
All signs point to that as a question the Chicago Bulls front office is asking themselves behind the scenes. At the end of October, Arturas Karnisovas and Co. interviewed and worked-out Alabama point guard Kira Lewis Jr. Considering each NBA organization is allowed only ten in-person workouts this offseason, that has been nothing short of noteworthy, especially when we consider where Lewis has been projected to go in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Most mock drafts put the 19-year-old in the mid-to-late lottery, but that has come with no lack of praise. Lewis has reportedly impressed scouts with his well-balanced skill set and hard to find speed. In a draft like this, he could easily rise up draft boards before November 18th, but can he really make it all the way to No. 4?
The answer is most likely no, however, that has not stopped Chicago from expressing “legitimate interest,” according to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson. The fact that his workout occurred at the end of October and Lewis still appears to be on Karnisovas’ mind is rather telling. The more his name comes up before draft night, the more likely it could become that the Bulls add him to the roster.
Again, I don’t see him as a fit at No. 4, but that just means he could push the Bulls to trade down. Most teams with high lottery picks have been rumored to express interest in a trade down. While we have not gotten much detail about the Bulls intentions, there are plenty of reasons to believe it could happen – the interest in Lewis being just one. The New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons, for example, are two of the most likely teams to consider a move up the draft. If the Bulls were to swap with either team, Lewis would make a lot more sense with the No. 7 or No. 8 pick.
I can’t help but kind of laugh at this reported interest in Lewis, though. I don’t find him to be a bad player, nor would I be mad if the Bulls drafted him, but it’s just funny that Lewis is kind of the 2020 draft’s equivalent to Coby White. The two share remarkable speed and scoring ability. Both could also be considered “scoring guards,” but White probably fits that mold even more. Now, to Lewis’ credit, he will enter the league with a far more balanced skillset. He averaged 18.5 points with 5.2 assists and 4.8 rebounds at Alabama, showing us that he fits the point guard prototype coming into the pros far more than someone like White. With that said, if the Bulls were looking for a true facilitator, they have better options than Lewis.
I would love to know the front office’s mindset behind the scenes. Do they think White and Lewis could be interchangeable at the point guard position? Do they have a dream of putting together one of the fastest teams in the NBA? I’m here for it. I probably shouldn’t go too far down the rabbit hole, though. Lewis still doesn’t feel like the most likely Bulls target as of right now, so we can tackle any kind of “fit” conversation if the Bulls actually call his name on draft night.