Watching the Eastern conference finals has allowed me to see a lot more of Rashard Lewis than I have in the past. It strikes me that he is a 3/4 tweener much like Outlaw, and in Orlando, Lewis is playing the 4, the position at which Travis seems to have more success. Now Travis has a ways to go to equal Lewis's level of play (court vision, strength and rebounding to name a few), but I think the two are similar.
When searching through the archives to see if other people have commented on their similarity, I found a most excellent post by Ben and KP2, Kevin Pelton's Stat Bomb for Your Blazer Brain, which speculates that Outlaw might develop similarly as Lewis. This leads to a number of interesting questions:
- The most important question, of course, is if it is fair to compare Outlaw with Lewis? (Don't forget they both came to the NBA straight from high school and Travis is five years younger.)
- If one believes that Outlaw is on a similar trajectory as Lewis, how much will Outlaw end up being like Lewis? Will Outlaw reach the same skill level as Lewis? Will he fall short or surpass it? How are they different?
- If Outlaw can develop into a Lewis-type player, then how valuable do you think Lewis is? (I certainly don't think Lewis is a max contract type player.) Would Rashard Lewis fit in with the Blazers? Does Lewis's success help Outlaw's value for trades?
I was just wondering what people thought about the similarity between Outlaw and Lewis and how Lewis might be used as a measuring stick to evaluate Outlaw. As the title of my post suggests, I personally believe that Outlaw will not develop to the same skill level where Lewis is now (hence the use of "ceiling"), but I'm interested to hear what you think.