New Orleans Pelicans: Kira Lewis Jr. named rookie to watch by ESPN

Kira Lewis Jr. of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kira Lewis Jr. of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Kira Lewis Jr. of the New Orleans Pelicans has yet to step foot on the Kia Rookie Ladder but he is starting to get some attention.

If you are not familiar, the Rookie Ladder is ESPN’s weekly ranking of rookies in the NBA. They pick the top-ten rookies for that week and rank them based on how they are playing.

The list fluctuates, but this season it’s mostly been dominated by LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Haliburton and Anthony Edwards, the frontrunners for Rookie of the Year.

Related Story. Trade deadline: Could Lonzo Ball be moved for Sabonis?. light

Obviously, Kira Lewis Jr. is not on the same level yet but is starting to get some notice and was named by ESPN as a “rookie to watch” who is outside of their top ten.

Here is what ESPN had to say about the Pelicans’ rookie:

"“Inconsistent minutes but the lottery pick’s speed and talent have been apparent in flashes, and the Pelicans are 4-3 when he plays enough to dish three or more assists.”"

I’d say that is a pretty accurate analysis of what Lewis Jr. has done so far, and he’s been even better of late, scoring a career-high 16 points in the Pels most recent win over the Lakers.

The Lakers’ game may have been the beginning of increased playing time and a bigger role for the young point guard.

New Orleans Pelicans: Could Kira Lewis Jr. be moved to the starting lineup?

We have advocated benching Eric Bledsoe in favor of Kira Lewis Jr. for several reasons.

Bledsoe has been playing terribly and could be traded at the deadline although that is looking less likely.

If the Pelicans end up trading Lonzo Ball before today’s deadline, then it’s clear they think Kira Lewis Jr. has a chance to be the point guard of the future, in which case, they need to see what they have.

If he impresses for the rest of the season as he has in flashes so far, the Pels might feel more comfortable about handing him the keys to the team of the future.

If not, they might look to add more guard depth in the offseason, unless of course they keep Lonzo Ball as many of us hope they will do.

Kira Lewis Jr. has answered the call when he’s gotten minutes and the New Orleans Pelicans should be happy with how his season has gone so far, as he is being brought along slowly and learning to play the position.

But it is almost time for him to get an expanded role that should include most of Bledsoe’s minutes from here on. ESPN has finally taken notice that the Pels could have something special in Kira Lewis Jr.

dark. Next. Is Lonzo Ball worth $20 million per season?