Kira Lewis Jr. hasn’t played basketball for the New Orleans Pelicans since December 8th, 2021, but his return is getting closer.
Lewis Jr. has been out since then after wrecking his knee, which required a lengthy rehab. The Pels did commit to him by exercising his team option for next season, so have faith that he can return and make an impact for them off the bench.
Lewis Jr. who was chosen 13th by the Pelicans in the 2020 draft, is still very young at just 21-years-old and New Orleans is still confident that he has a future with this team.
If he were healthy he might be in the rotation already, as Devonte’ Graham has given them little and Lewis Jr. would give them an element of speed and defense that Graham does not.
That speed was on full display as Kira Lewis Jr. made his debut with the Birmingham Squadron of the G-League, and we may see him with the Pelicans soon.
New Orleans Pelicans: Kira Lewis Jr. shows off electric speed in debut
Kira Lewis Jr. didn’t waste any time making an impact with the Birmingham Squadron, who are the New Orleans Pelicans G-League affiliate.
He only played for 17.4 minutes but scored 18 points on 63 percent shooting and added two assists and three steals.
Fans who were worried that Lewis Jr. may have lost a step after his injury can rest easy, as he was clearly the fastest man on the court as he showed off his trademark speed in transition:
Even after the injury, Kira Lewis Jr. can still fly, but the question is whether he can do anything else and how that speed potentially translates into the New Orleans Pelicans rotation.
The Pels already play fast with their second unit and already have two small guards coming off the bench, so it’s possible that one of them could be moved at some point this season.
But you can never have too much depth, so getting Lewis Jr. back would be a boost to the Pels’ bench and potentially give them another weapon who can help them bury teams with fast breaks.
A healthy Lewis Jr. is also a potential trade asset that the New Orleans Pelicans could package to make a splashy move this season, so getting him back and working his way back into shape is a great sign.