Dalen Terry wasn’t the only bull to be added to the Chicago roster on Thursday. In addition to the sophomore Raw Arizona substitute, the Bulls wasted no time after the draft and signed Marquette forward Justin Lewis to a two-way contract.
Dravtnik seems to like Lewis, who was largely expected to be picked in the second round. Athletic player John Hollinger was so upbeat on Lewis’ roof that he listed Lewis 27th in his potential draft ratings. It went to the Magic 32 in the mock draft of SI college expert Jeremy Wu, to the Lakers ranked 35th in Bleacher’s latest mock report, to the Clippers ranked 43rd in ESPN writer Jonathany Jevonne’s fake, and to the Hawks ranked 44th in the last writer’s advance Athlete Sam Vecenie.
When Lewis was completely out of the draft, Givoni hailed him as one of the best unaccompanied players:
The best prospects for 2022 that haven’t been drafted:
Michael Foster Jr.
Ron Harper Jr.
Kenneth Lofton Jr.
Scottie Pippen Jr.
– Jonathan Jevoni (@DraftExpress) June 24, 2022
Lewis also topped ESPN’s Post-Draft list of Best Unframed Odds.
The 6’7.5″ striker played two seasons with Marquette. During his sophomore year, Lewis became a full-time starter for the Golden Eagles. In that 2021-22 season, Lewis averaged 16.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.6 Pieces per game across 32 competitions.For his efforts, the 20-year-old was named Player of the Year at the most developed 2022 Big East, as well as being added to the 2022 First-Team All- Big East squad.
At the college level, Lewis had developed into a reliable size three-point shooter by his final season with Marquette. He tied 34.9% of his 5.2-point looks per night. Overall, he scored 49.5% of his field goals. In the featured clip below, he also shows an ability to exploit driveways with rocks:
Justin Lewis’ improvement as an off-ball student has been very significant this season. Besides the apparent divergence, it also created opportunities for him to attack lockdowns, finish off the edge in a myriad of ways, and create for others. pic.twitter.com/1QSBoDAevk
— Tyler Metcalf (@tmetcalf11) June 22 2022
If given a bit of a run, either with the right Chicago team or with the NBA G League’s Windy City Bulls, Lewis has the outline of a powerful multi-level goalscorer who can enter anywhere forward. At the NBA Praft in Chicago, his wingspan was 7’2.5″! Lewis’ 32.5-inch standing vertical jump ranked him fourth best in the group. His massive gauntlets (which are 10.5 inches wide when combined) also lend credibility On the idea that maybe he could develop into a good defender at the NBA level.There seems to be some question about Lewis’ ability to protect the flanks due to questionable speed.
In SB Nation’s mock draft, Brew Hoop’s Mitchell Maurer wanted the Bucks to hit Lewis with the 24th pick, citing his shooting ability and material gifts, and likening him to smaller strikers and sharp shooting power like PJ Tucker, Grant Williams and Jay Crowder.
Rob Schaeffer of NBC Sports Chicago suggests that Lewis could play along the perimeter and in the forward area as a power forward. Lewis and Terry’s additions seem to help paint a fuller picture of what the Chicago front desk, led by Arturas Karnsovas and Mark Eversley, likes to prioritize: positional flexibility, height, and athletic height.
Speaking to Charlotte Carroll of The Athletic, Marquette assistant coach Cody Hatt praised Lewis’ growth through his sophomore season:
“I think you saw him really kind of evolve into a guy who went from a first-year player who definitely had some flashes where he impacted the win and showed his promise as a player, to a guy throughout the season who feared the player because of the opposition of coaches to trying to plan a play or stop,” Hatt said. . “Who in the big moments was someone we trusted to take big shots or found themselves at the center of a lot of the success we’ve been having.”
In his assessment of the recent bull, Hollinger cautions that Lewis sometimes seems to settle for jump shots and seems unrelated on the defensive end. Again, Hollinger believes that Lewis perceives, at least, some level of a spinning player, thanks to his strength, height, and positional fluidity. The fact that Lewis could be more than that makes it seem like a steal as a two-way contract.