Draft Rumors: Lewis, Hayes, Nesmith, Okongwu, More

Alabama’s Kira Lewis Jr. is generating some buzz among teams in the top half of the first round, according to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, who hears that Lewis has worked out in person for the Magic, Knicks, Pistons, and Bulls within the last week. A previous report indicated that Lewis has had multiple virtual interviews with Phoenix as well.

Pre-draft workouts don’t necessarily count for much in a typical year, when teams bring in dozens of prospects for a closer look for the sake of due diligence. However, Wasserman contends that it’s fair to “read into” those workouts in 2020. Since teams are only permitted to conduct in-person visits with up to 10 players, they generally aren’t wasting their time by meeting with players who aren’t of legitimate interest.

Here’s more on the draft from Wasserman:

  • In addition to the Pistons and Knicks, point guard Killian Hayes is also receiving interest from the Hawks and Kings, per Wasserman.
  • Sources tell Wasserman that Vanderbilt sharpshooter Aaron Nesmith is drawing interest from late-lottery teams, including the Suns.
  • Florida State big man Patrick Williams is among the prospects in play for the Pistons at No. 7, Wasserman writes.
  • Serbian forward Aleksej Pokusevski has become a popular draft sleeper and could even come off the board before the 20s, league sources tell Wasserman.
  • The Lakers, Bucks, and Sixers are among the teams displaying interest in Stanford’s Tyrell Terry, according to Wasserman.
  • There are whispers that Oregon point guard Payton Pritchard has received a promise from a team. While Wasserman has been unable to confirm that promise, he says that Pritchard has many fans in NBA front offices and may be a first-round pick.
  • Wasserman’s latest update to his big board at Bleacher Report has Onyeka Okongwu in the top three. A source tells Wasserman that the Wizards are hoping Okongwu falls to them at No. 9 and may look to trade their pick if he’s not available.
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4 thoughts on “Draft Rumors: Lewis, Hayes, Nesmith, Okongwu, More

  1. formerlyz

    Going back to last year, of the players I’ve seen so far, I probably like Okongwu better than all of them, although after having done more recent in depth research, there are some players i like for similar reasons. Okongwu reminds me of Bam, but less skilled. That being said, just those certain intangibles make him a big deal to me.

    I dont really know how to place Kira Lewis. I feel like there are several guards I like over him, and not many teams that could really use smaller guards right now, at least not those with his current deficiencies. Also a lot of interesting wings in that 10-40 range

    I personally have Patrick Williams going to Phoenix at 10, but I was thinking about where a couple of these bigs could potentially be placed b/c there are some really interesting versatile bigs. Detroit theoretically does make sense, but they also arguably have a couple of young guys at the 5, and are trying to develop Duombouya at the 4, and then they also still have blake griffin for now…Not saying a team like Detroit should draft for need, but they could use a young guard to pair with there young players, and Killian Hayes theoretically fits well with Doumbouya and a couple of their lengthy defensive combo guards/wings…

    Nesmith is in that range with multiple wings that could be somewhat interchangeable with each other, although his skillset is slightly different. Portland at 16 would be a good fit, assuming other guys are off the board

    I actually like Pritchard decently as well. Have him 40th to Memphis, but as I have said, a lot of guys through the 45ish range are pretty similar, and its also hard to place some of these smaller guards. Some similarities between Flynn and Pritchard, so not surprising to see both mentioned in reports of teams being interested

    I feel like Philly, OKC, and Milwaukee feel like the teams that would be in on Pkusevski, but I could be wrong. Maybe Orlando, if I’m trying to think of someone surprising in that range. I could still see it making more sense for him to fall into that early 2nd round, but who knows the way these teams are trying to build their teams sometimes…I just think a team with multiple picks, like Philly, could take him and stash him for 1-2 years while he develops his body, and learns to improve his decision making

    • formerlyz

      ….Kira Lewis kind of reminds me of a slightly faster Mario Chalmers with not as much shooting consistency

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