2: Justin Lewis – Marquette
Justin Lewis has been mocked to New York, so if he ends up being the team’s selection at No. 42, it wouldn’t come as a surprise. In 2021-22, the 6’7” forward with a 7’2” wingspan averaged 16.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 32 games while shooting 44% from the floor and 34.9% from the 3-point line.
Based on what Lewis averaged in 2020-21, which was 7.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 0.8 assists, the 20-year-old was named the BIG EAST Most Improved Player of the Year. His efficiency took a huge jump, as he shot 41.7% from the field and 21.9% from behind the arc in his first season coming off the bench.
Not many people foresaw the past year that Lewis had with the Golden Eagles or much less foresaw him blazing a path to the NBA as a second-round prospect.
Lewis is a combo forward who impacts the game on both ends of the floor. While his outside shot improved dramatically between seasons for Marquette, that growth is going to need to continue at the next level.
He averaged 1.9 turnovers per game this past year and has been cited with having issues as a playmaker off the dribble. If he were to be drafted by the Knicks, that’s something that he could spend time working on in Westchester.
Lewis’ strength and versatility will benefit whichever team he ends up on. Depending on if Julius Randle gets traded or not (there’s no guarantee that he’ll be gone just because fans want him to be), that’d make the addition of Lewis more valuable to a young team.