New Orleans Pelicans: Predicting Kira Lewis Jr.’s stats for next season

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

Kira Lewis Jr. had a pretty good rookie season for the New Orleans Pelicans.

His stats won’t jump out at you but he quietly put up decent numbers for a rookie point guard who did not have the benefit of an offseason or much of a training camp to prepare.

In a normal season, he might have spent some time in the G-League but Kira Lewis Jr. never left New Orleans and was forced into action when the Pelicans suffered injuries. Once he got into the rotation, he stayed there, a good sign for such a young player.

Lewis Jr. was great with the ball, racking up 2.3 assists per game in just 16.7 minutes on average while rarely turning it over.

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He had 124 assists to just 34 turnovers, which is an outstanding ratio for a rookie. He flashed his advertised quickness, played better-than-advertised defense and showed that he will be at least an effective backup point guard for the New Orleans Pelicans.

So what might his statistics look like in year two?

New Orleans Pelicans: Prediction for Kira Lewis Jr.’s stats next season

Lewis Jr. averaged just 6.4 points and 2.3 assists, but as the season wore on, he looked much more confident.

He definitely needs to improve his shooting, as he only shot 38.6 percent from the floor and 33 percent from behind the arc. He was often able to get into the paint but struggled to finish. Other than Zion Williamson, the Pelicans don’t really have anyone who can get into the lane and finish, so this is something they need him to improve, as he has the quickness to create a lot of space.

Kira Lewis Jr. will almost certainly have a bigger role than he did this season, when he played just 16.7 minutes per game. Even if the Pelicans go out and get a veteran point guard and retain Lonzo Ball, Lewis Jr. will still get minutes as the second or third guard off the bench.

If the Pelicans let Lonzo walk, then Kira Lewis Jr.’s role could expand significantly. I still don’t see him playing more than 20-25 minutes per game next season, which is why I think he’ll average around nine points per game with 3.6 assists and a steal per game.

Of course, if he improves his shooting and is forced into closer to 30 minutes per game, those numbers could jump up.

Fans are already questioning the Kira Lewis Jr. pick, especially when there were wings available who have already made much more of an impact in the NBA and better fit the Pelicans’ needs.

But Kira can quiet all of those critics by improving his shooting, getting more minutes and becoming a instant offense scoring threat off the bench.

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