The Chicago Bulls announced on Tuesday that forward Justin Lewis will undergo surgery on his right ACL. Lewis, allegedly, suffered the injury during a workout away from the team. While the cause of the injury remains unknown, it’s clear the 20-year-old wing will be out indefinitely.
Injury Update: Forward Justin Lewis sustained an injury to his right anterior cruciate ligament this past weekend.
He will undergo surgery in the coming weeks and is out indefinitely. pic.twitter.com/RMML2OYB8O
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) August 16, 2022
Who Is Justin Lewis?
The rookie out of Marquette University went unselected in the 2022 NBA Draft, despite projecting as an early to mid second-rounder. As a sophomore, Lewis led the Golden Eagles with a team-high 16.8 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Standing a strong 6-foot-7 with an impressive 7’2 wingspan, it’s no wonder Chicago was so eager to sign him. An apt comparison for the wide-bodied wing would be OG Anunoby of the Toronto Raptors. The two share near identical measurements and a will to suffocate opposing offenses.
Arguably, his most attractive quality is his fast improving jump shot. Lewis earned All-Big East 1st Team honors as well as the Big East Most Improved Player Award last season. Not only did he lead Marquette in scoring and rebounding but he finished 3rd and 4th in the conference in those categories respectively. Though he’d start his sophomore campaign as a subpar shooter (26% from deep), Lewis would finish the season shooting near 46% from the field and 41% from three over his last 18 games.
One of Lewis’ best performances as a Golden Eagle came in a comeback win over Villanova last season. The 20-year-old wing was at his best: hitting threes, opening driving lanes, and relentlessly attacking the basket. Nova ran a smaller rotation last year, which Marquette took full advantage of in the closing minutes of this game. Lewis would hit a huge buzzer-beater off a botched play and the rest is history.
Despite posting modest numbers at the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League, Lewis impressed with his defensive versatility. The Bulls have been in need of a multi-positional defender like Lewis, which makes his injury all the more untimely. Hopefully the Marquette product can make it back soon to continue his development and compete for a spot in Chicago’s rotation.