Waves basketball standout Maxwell Lewis selected in the NBA Draft

Pepperdine men's basketball player Maxwell Lewis goes in for a dunk against Northern Arizona earlier this season. Lewis was taken by the Los Angeles Lakers in last week's NBA Draft. Photo by Morgan Davenport

He is the 33rd Pepperdine player to be taken in the NBA Draft and sixth to be selected in the first two rounds

Pepperdine Waves men’s basketball player Maxwell Lewis was chosen by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2023 NBA Draft on June 22.

Lewis, a 6-foot-7 forward, was selected by the Lakers via the Denver Nuggets in the second round of the two-round draft. He was the 40th pick overall. 

In celebration of the Lewis’ selection, the Pepperdine Men’s Basketball account on Instagram posted a photoshopped picture of Lewis in a Lakers’ gold jersey and shorts.

The team’s twitter account tweeted a popcorn emoji and “SHOWTIME MAX.” 

Lewis’ Waves teammate Houston Mallette tweeted, “Bro!!!! My brother is a laker mannnnnn. Still can’t believe it bro. Right down PCH! It’s UPPPPPP.” 

Lewis, 20, played for two seasons at Pepperdine. He averaged 17.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists a contest during the 2022-23 season. Lewis had a career-high 30 points against Northern Arizona last December and scored the same amount against Pacific in January. He tallied 20 or more points in 13 of Pepperdine’s 31 games, including a seven-game stretch where he scored at least 20 in each contest. 

Additionally, Lewis shot 46.8 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from three-point range. 

Maxwell Lewis. Photo by Morgan Davenport 2
Pepperdine’s Maxwell Lewis was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the NBA Draft. Photo by Charlie Blake.

Lewis averaged 11 points and 3.2 rebounds a game during the 2021-22 season. However, he missed six games at the beginning of the season waiting on NCAA eligibility and the last five games because of a wrist injury. 

Lewis graduated from AZ Compass Prep in Arizona in 2021. He gave up his senior year of high school basketball to train for the NBA Draft but decided to attend Pepperdine. 

Lewis was a player NBA scouts and draft experts had kept their eyes on due to his length and ability to score the basketball from the perimeter to the paint.

The NBA Draft was broadcast on ESPN. NBA analyst JJ Redick said Lewis “has a lot of game” after the Lakers’ selection of Lewis was announced.

“He scores at all three levels,” Redick said. “There is no doubt that this guy can hoop.” 

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas said of Lewis, “He is long and athletic. He is an upside pick. He makes plays and he crashes the glass.” 

Lewis is the 33rd Pepperdine player to be taken in the NBA Draft and sixth to be selected in the first two rounds. He is the fifth-highest selection in program history and the second Waves player to be chosen in the NBA Draft in three years. Kessler Edwards was nabbed 44th by the Brooklyn Nets in the 2021 NBA Draft. 

Lewis is also the 27th player coached by Waves head coach Lorenzo Romar, either as a head coach or assistant, to be drafted into the NBA.