NEW ORLEANS, La. – “Everything about him really speaks to who we want to be from a DNA standpoint,” says Pelicans Executive VP of Basketball Operations David Griffin.
With the 13th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, The New Orleans Pelicans selected Alabama Point Guard Kira Lewis Jr.
A 19-year-old combo guard with outstanding speed that averaged 18 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds in 31 games for the Crimson Tide last season.
Most importantly, a skillset that New Orleans Pelicans Head Coach Stan Van Gundy is excited to see in action.
“His speed and quickness, both in transition to push the ball, and to get in the paint and make plays, I think those are outstanding, but I’m also really excited about what we think he can do at the defensive end to pressure the ball, maybe even get up the floor, at times 94-feet and pressure the ball, that’s something I’m really excited about,” says Van Gundy.
A player built for an up-tempo system Stan Van Gundy plans to implement.
One that could feature multiple point guards with Lonzo Ball and Kira Lewis on the court at the same time.
“I think it’s a trend of getting as many playmakers as you can on the floor. You might give up a little bit of size at times, I know with Lonzo we don’t, and those guys are going to go out and play really hard and be very hard to guard off the dribble and make plays for each other,” says Van Gundy.
A direction Alabama Head Basketball Coach Nate Oats believes the NBA is heading and one that he says Kira Lewis Jr. is a perfect fit for.