FanPost

Kawhi Leonard 2011 NBA Draft Profile

Next, we're looking at Kawhi Leonard, a 6'7" small forward out of San Diego State. Leonard, an intriguing athlete who sprung onto the scene for the 2-seeded Aztecs in the NCAA tournament, averaged 15.5 points and 10.6 rebounds in his sophomore year with the team.

See what I have to say about Leonard after the jump!

 

Draft Projection: Late lottery

Pros:

  • Freak athlete with impressive wingspan and huge hands
  • Elite rebounder from the wing position
  • Plays hardest on every play
  • Potential to be stellar defender
  • Much improved offensively over the last year
  • Great teammate

Cons:

  • Doesn't move well laterally
  • Not a great jump shooter
  • Somewhat of a tweener
  • If he were two inches taller, he'd likely be a top five pick

While the trade of Shane Battier to the Grizzlies helped propel the Rockets to second half success because it injected offense into the starting lineup and shortened the rotations, it became clear as the season went along that the team was in serious need of at least one more solid wing defender. While Kevin Martin and Chase Budinger have improved somewhat defensively since joining the team, neither is capable of slowing down top scorers in the league and Courtney Lee can't guard everyone.

Leonard, though not a "lock-down" defender at this point, already has solid defensive skills and has the potential to be as nearly as good as anyone in the league defensively with some work. He's extremely athletic, runs like a gazelle, and has an impressive wingspan. If he can work with a coach on harnessing his athletic ability to its fullest potential, he could become the kind of defender that can transform a defense.

Apart from Leonard's defensive potential, it is his rebounding from the forward position that will likely be his calling card, much like Gerald Wallace's rebounding skills. Despite playing on the wing, Leonard is capable of securing 10-15 rebounds on any given night as he combines his athleticism with monstrous hands to rebound the ball.

Offensively, Leonard is still a work in progress but flashed some impressive moves as the season progressed this year. He's an excellent slasher, can work in transition, and showed off a much-improved jump shot late in the season. He was a well-kept secret for a while, his emergence as well as San Diego State's strong play has made him a likely lottery pick. If he is available when the Rockets are picking, the Rockets have to consider him as he has nearly as much potential as any wing in this draft class.

NBA Comparison: Gerald Wallace or Shawn Marion

No cursing in title. No pirated material, such as links to online game streams. Do not cut/paste entire sections of content from other websites. Thanks.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Dream Shake

You must be a member of The Dream Shake to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Dream Shake. You should read them.

Join The Dream Shake

You must be a member of The Dream Shake to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Dream Shake. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker