A breakout sophomore and an All-WCC selection in 2023, Maxwell Lewis rose pretty quickly in 2023 and was the 40th pick of the NBA Draft to the LA Lakers, staying local to Southern California. On the year, Lewis averaged 17 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.8 BPG, and 3.3 TOPG on splits of 47/35/79. Below is his full scouting report:
Name: Maxwell Lewis
Height/Weight: 6’6 ¼/207
Wingspan/ standing reach: 7’0/8’8 ½
Hand size: 9 ½
Pre-Draft team: Pepperdine
- Nice crossover; long, AI-esque move with a tight handle
- Sees the floor well
- Clean, projectable jump shot
- Good rebounder
- Can win in the post vs smaller guards
- Long arms and great overall frame
- Can rise up and shoot over defenders
- Needs to improve defensively; off-ball defensive awareness can be manipulated easily
- Averaged more turnovers than assists
- Must add strength and weight
- P&R next move timing?
- Can be a ball-stopper at times
- Doesn’t move well off-ball
- Needs to tighten his handle
- Decision making as a passer and ball-handler
Richard Stayman, MavsDraft:
“Max Lewis has an ideal collection of tools, but will need to learn to use his tools better to come together as a complete wing.
Defensively, Lewis gets lost off-ball way too easily, but is able to get long contests that can still impact defenders. He must improve his defensive awareness, rotations, and overall decision-making to stick on this end and be able to make quick & accurate reads against the speed and talent of NBA players compared to what he faced in the WCC.
As a scorer, Lewis is largely unaffected by closeouts from smaller players due to the lift he gets on jumpers with a high release. Lewis’ shot has been impressing teams during the pre-draft process, being one of the better 1-on-0 players in the draft in terms of aesthetics in shooting motion/form, athleticism, and ball-handling ability. However, away from scoring, he lacks fingerprints on the game. He can often get tunnel vision and play too much 1-on-1 staring at the defender and the rim without looking around, making him not the most willing passer, and he doesn’t move well off-ball offensively. These traits combined with his defensive shortcomings and poor tendencies make him a bit of a project. How he finds ways to impact the game without scoring will determine his fate in the NBA.”
Jared Katz, MavsDraft contributor:
“Lewis is long, gangly, and an explosive athlete. Desperately needs to add weight as he transitions to the NBA. High level shooter off the catch who hit over 43% of his catch and shoot jumpers this season. His mechanics are clean when spotting up, but he can get a bit messy with his lower half when trying to shoot off the dribble. 63% finisher at the rim, and he’s able to use his length and soft touch at the rim to finish around defenders, or over the top of them with his explosive leaping ability. He can attack hard closeouts with one or two dribbles to get to the basket. His handle is very loose right now, and I wouldn’t ask him to create his own look off the dribble at this point in his career. Despite his explosiveness, he struggles to separate from defenders due to his lack of handle and shiftiness. Sometimes falls victim to doing too much with the ball in his hands, but I’ve seen him make some nice passes to cutters off his own attack to the rim, as well as some decent passes to the roll man in ball screen actions.
Not a great passer, but not terrible either. Moves very well without the ball, relocating quickly to open spots on the floor where he can kill teams who are scrambling to close him out. Doesn’t have near the defensive impact you’d expect from someone with his physical profile.
Not a bad on ball defender when he sits down in his stance, but he just lacks the natural anticipation and fluidity to stay in front of shiftier ball handlers. He also takes strange routes to the ball when closing out, often rounding corners instead of just taking a direct path. Struggles to fight through ball screens. Disaster as an off ball defender. He falls asleep way too often, especially on second chance opportunities. Gambles, but again, lacks the anticipation to get to the ball quickly enough.
Lewis is a 3&D player without the defense right now, but his physical tools leave some room for optimism that those skills can be developed. For me, he’s a borderline first round pick.
Similar to: Alec Burks, bigger Jordan Clarkson
Projected draft range: 20-35
Expected role: Scoring wing.
Unplayable if: Defensive concerns catch up to him, and his passing + decision-making/overall tendencies with the ball in his hands doesn’t improve with more talent around him.
Exceeds expectations if: Defense improves and he grows into at least a neutral defender.