TJ Leaf

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TJ Leaf 

Post#1 » by RipCity71252 » Sat Jan 7, 2017 10:16 pm

Despite having a very productive freshman season so far, DX has him going 28th in their updated mock. People have questions as to whether some of his skills will translate to the NBA and I get why.

Main questions for me...

1) Does his range stretch to the NBA 3? Hasn't been great from the line early on and doesn't posses the most fluid stroke (especially compared to Markennen and Lydon).

2) Has looked pretty good in the post (shows great extension on his righty hook) and on the boards (very instinctive and does a good job using his reach), but can he eventually hold his position against PF's well enough to make either skills valuable in the NBA?

With that said, I'd be happy to take past the top 10. Just a smart, instinctive old school player with enough athleticism to make me think he's going to find a way to be effective in the NBA, despite his next-level skill set being a little unclear right now.

Where would you feel comfortable taking him?
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#2 » by GimmeDat » Sat Jan 7, 2017 11:03 pm

I'm not a big fan, relative to the hype, at least. He's a skilled player, but I'm not sure I see the ceiling at the next level higher than a multi-skilled 3rd big. I would have him in that 15-20 range.

Good but not great, and as you said, doesn't have that standout skill to run with. I do think UCLA's play has helped make him look a bit better as well.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#3 » by RipCity71252 » Sat Jan 7, 2017 11:28 pm

GimmeDat wrote:I'm not a big fan, relative to the hype, at least. He's a skilled player, but I'm not sure I see the ceiling at the next level higher than a multi-skilled 3rd big. I would have him in that 15-20 range.

Good but not great, and as you said, doesn't have that standout skill to run with. I do think UCLA's play has helped make him look a bit better as well.


Agreed on all accounts. You'll definitely be able to find guys in this draft past #10 that have higher ceilings than TJ.

What do think of him compared to Tyler Lydon? Very similar guys in a lot of ways, although I think Lydon's shooting has a chance to be very good to elite at the next level. Looks more fluid and dynamic attacking closeouts too.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#4 » by Upperclass » Sat Jan 7, 2017 11:57 pm

I kinda like him. He's very Josh McRoberts like, in his skills, though his actually game is super awkward. He looks like a player from an 80s basketball movie. He'll make for a decently productive bench big im sure.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#5 » by smittybanton » Sun Jan 8, 2017 2:42 am

Fell in love with him when he tried to dunk on Bam Adebayo and DeAaron Fox at the same time. Skillful, athletic enough, plays with funk. Similar to last year where Jamal Murray started out in DX's 20s while Baldwin was much higher because of his measurables, TJ Leaf I believe is a cpnsiderably better basketball player than Jonathan Isaac who folks love because of his length and athleticsm.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#6 » by jrob23 » Sun Jan 8, 2017 5:25 am

RipCity71252 wrote:Despite having a very productive freshman season so far, DX has him going 28th in their updated mock. People have questions as to whether some of his skills will translate to the NBA and I get why.

Main questions for me...

1) Does his range stretch to the NBA 3? Hasn't been great from the line early on and doesn't posses the most fluid stroke (especially compared to Markennen and Lydon).

2) Has looked pretty good in the post (shows great extension on his righty hook) and on the boards (very instinctive and does a good job using his reach), but can he eventually hold his position against PF's well enough to make either skills valuable in the NBA?

With that said, I'd be happy to take past the top 10. Just a smart, instinctive old school player with enough athleticism to make me think he's going to find a way to be effective in the NBA, despite his next-level skill set being a little unclear right now.

Where would you feel comfortable taking him?


that's laughable and I wish people would stop getting their information/opinions from these draft sites. Terrible. He's 6'10" with room to put on 25 lbs of muscle to upper body (his lower body is fine) and is pretty much a prototypical stretch 4 in today's NBA physically/athletically/skills wise. He can shoot from deep and has a plethora of post moves allowing him to get his shot off against anyone. He runs the floor extremely well, is a great passer, has a high motor and will be able to defend other stretch 4s and occasional PF at the next level. He's also alpha. The question isn't why do people like him it's how could you not? He's this good at 19 y/o?! Does his rang extend to NBA 3? He's shooting .47% from deep.

He's got to go in the lottery. I just can't see him falling for any reason. He has as much upside as anyone in the draft too. You can't teach his size and offensive weapons. He's not perfect because he really does need that extra muscle up top, he needs to shoot better from the line too. His on man defense in the post, which is his weakest trait, is due to being overpowered. As soon as he gets stronger that stops. I can't think of a more perfect stretch 4 prospect than him. He's as close to Kevin Love as I've seen and I think he might have a similar trajectory as well. The 25 lbs of muscle is imperative though. I could see PHI taking him with the LAL pick.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#7 » by RipCity71252 » Sun Jan 8, 2017 7:35 am

8-)
Does his rang extend to NBA 3? He's shooting .47% from deep.


He's not shooting them at a very high volume and his meddling ft%, although its still early, shows he might be shooting well above his head right now.

Do I think it will? Personally, yes. But I think it's reasonable to question it.

And are we sure this kid has the frame to get to 240-245?
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#8 » by Fischella » Sun Jan 8, 2017 8:34 am

I prefer Lydon even if he is less skilled, Lydon has flashed enough for me, some passing on the move, and his stroke is better, has clear NBA range and can do more things defensively, clearly the better athlete, and is impactful on D, Leaf is great at this level but I worry he has no position defensively, and even if he competes might not be enough, he is also kind of a jack of all trades master of none type of guy, that doesnt bode superwell for a NBA role player.
He would be a beast in Europe though, and he has an israeli passport, I think late 1st is fair for him, not sure he does declare.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#9 » by Fischella » Sun Jan 8, 2017 8:44 am

Leaf volume on 3s is small, for UCLA's pace and all his 3s are assisted, and he is likely been open most of the time, not sure is a useful % at all, esp considering his %FT.
The frame is part of it, he plays hard and can pass, I think he could be a bit of a poor man's Mirotic but with more heart, not the same type of athlete.
Dunno how hard you go for a guy like that, Alec Peters is a similar prospect, better shooter but probably worse in the midrange and even worse on D, and I'd not take him in the 1st.
Leaf also has 0 flexibility positionally, and you need to play him next to a defensive big 100%
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#10 » by doordoor123 » Sun Jan 8, 2017 4:05 pm

Fischella wrote:Leaf volume on 3s is small, for UCLA's pace and all his 3s are assisted, and he is likely been open most of the time, not sure is a useful % at all, esp considering his %FT.
The frame is part of it, he plays hard and can pass, I think he could be a bit of a poor man's Mirotic but with more heart, not the same type of athlete.
Dunno how hard you go for a guy like that, Alec Peters is a similar prospect, better shooter but probably worse in the midrange and even worse on D, and I'd not take him in the 1st.
Leaf also has 0 flexibility positionally, and you need to play him next to a defensive big 100%


Better passer than Mirotic IMO. His shots come assisted, but his form and patience is great. Mirotic is limited a bunch by his athleticism, strength and toughness. Leaf is more athletic vertically, has more fluid movement and he knows how to hustle. Also a MUCH better post player. I'm usually with you, but I don't see that at all here. Leaf also seems to just be more intelligent. I watch all of LA and Chicago teams. Do not see that comparison whatsoever.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#11 » by jrob23 » Mon Jan 9, 2017 11:38 pm

RipCity71252 wrote:8-)
Does his rang extend to NBA 3? He's shooting .47% from deep.


He's not shooting them at a very high volume and his meddling ft%, although its still early, shows he might be shooting well above his head right now.

Do I think it will? Personally, yes. But I think it's reasonable to question it.

And are we sure this kid has the frame to get to 240-245?


His volume is more because he's so damn good in the post and he has the advantage down there. In the NBA he'd be shooting many more. Yeah, I think he's 225 lb now. His lower body is stout. I think like Noah, he could add another 20-25 lbs. Half that will just be natural man weight and the other half by lifting weights. As we get closer to the draft you'll hear Love comparisons more and more.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#12 » by Ruzious » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:04 pm

I like Leaf a LOT - better than Peters and Lydon. Even though he's awkward, he's a surprisingly athletic player with some explosion. He plays with an aggressiveness and energy that reminds me of Portis, but he's more explosive than Portis - though thinner. A lot depends on how much muscle he can add. But he definitely fits the stretch 4 position that everyone's looking for. One criticism - He gets away with somewhat sloppy dribbling in college that he won't in the NBA. It's great he has confidence in his dribbling, but he's got to cut down on it in the NBA. Anderson was a better ball-handler when he was at UCLA.

Btw, I love UCLA's backup guards - Holiday and Hamilton. That team is loaded - the second best roster in college - after Duke.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#13 » by doordoor123 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:41 pm

Ruzious wrote:I like Leaf a LOT - better than Peters and Lydon. Even though he's awkward, he's a surprisingly athletic player with some explosion. He plays with an aggressiveness and energy that reminds me of Portis, but he's more explosive than Portis - though thinner. A lot depends on how much muscle he can add. But he definitely fits the stretch 4 position that everyone's looking for. One criticism - He gets away with somewhat sloppy dribbling in college that he won't in the NBA. It's great he has confidence in his dribbling, but he's got to cut down on it in the NBA. Anderson was a better ball-handler when he was at UCLA.

Btw, I love UCLA's backup guards - Holiday and Hamilton. That team is loaded - the second best roster in college - after Duke.


Agreed. Off-topic, I think Holiday is going to make a team and contribute right away.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#14 » by smittybanton » Tue Jan 10, 2017 7:01 pm



Check him out at 2:45 and 3:12.

2:45 Adebayo is probably the best defensive big man prospect in the game. Healthy Chandler Parsons, I mean TJ Leaf took him off the dribble and dunked on him. As the NBA goes more four and five out, that's what your "stretch" four has to do in addition to shooting.

3:12 Now take Adebayo and Fox, the TWO best defensive prospects in the game, and watch TJ try to dunk on both of them! I think he got fouled. Lol.

Then he posterizes the dude from Cal on a a) halfcourt b) one on one move c) with no pick or screen. Cmon now!

The only thing he's missing in my book is a left hand.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#15 » by doordoor123 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:29 pm

If UCLA wins the whole thing I think I might take Leaf around 5 overall and I could see a team falling in love and taking him there. He just seems like a player that does all the little things and makes your whole team better a la Draymond Green. He could be valuable to a playoff seeking team.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#16 » by jrob23 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 8:30 pm

smittybanton wrote:

Check him out at 2:45 and 3:12.

2:45 Adebayo is probably the best defensive big man prospect in the game. Healthy Chandler Parsons, I mean TJ Leaf took him off the dribble and dunked on him. As the NBA goes more four and five out, that's what your "stretch" four has to do in addition to shooting.

3:12 Now take Adebayo and Fox, the TWO best defensive prospects in the game, and watch TJ try to dunk on both of them! I think he got fouled. Lol.

Then he posterizes the dude from Cal on a a) halfcourt b) one on one move c) with no pick or screen. Cmon now!

The only thing he's missing in my book is a left hand.


yeah, last game (or maybe two games a go) he posterized a guy and stared him down afterwards. I love that. I'm not too worried about left hand or handle because he hasn't even begun working on these things. Like with Monk. They've had advanced skills and those got them to this point so they lean on what they know. But to get to the next level, they've got to expand on them. That's where pride, aggression, athleticism, etc. come in to help facilitate that improvement. Kennard is a maxed skill player without the necessary athleticism to excel in the NBA like he does in college. Lots of Euro guys are that way too. Leaf and Monk will take the time between end of season and the draft to work on things. They'll do just enough to show scouts that with continued work, they'll eventually turn negatives into positives and by team visits, left hands and handle won't be a concern.

That's why broken shots like Ball and Jackson are a bigger concern. You cannot completely change your form in three months. You can show you can go left..even if it's once...where teams are comfortable it's a skill you can pick up. You can improve your handle through specific drills enough to show a difference after 3 months, even if it's a simple thing like dribbling with your head up. But no way Ball changes his form showing he's capable of a mid range pull up jumper from what he has now. That doesn't mean teams won't think he can't do it.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#17 » by Fischella » Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:44 pm

doordoor123 wrote:If UCLA wins the whole thing I think I might take Leaf around 5 overall and I could see a team falling in love and taking him there. .

oh lord, how does that correlate? honestly? :banghead:
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#18 » by doordoor123 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:41 pm

Fischella wrote:
doordoor123 wrote:If UCLA wins the whole thing I think I might take Leaf around 5 overall and I could see a team falling in love and taking him there. .

oh lord, how does that correlate? honestly? :banghead:


I know, crazy. Right? The thing is there are players every year who somehow end up in the top picks even though talent-wise it may not be a great choice. Teams fall in love with players and I think he's a guy that helps a team in a bunch of little ways that a playoff team would need.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#19 » by madmaxmedia » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:49 pm

He's a very skilled and heady 4 who is bringing it as a freshman. I don't know what his NBA ceiling is, he's not some freak of nature but I don't think he'g going to be a tweener type who has no position in the NBA. I think it's a safe bet he will get stronger and further develop his skills going forward so his floor will be pretty high (relative to draft position.)

Chandler Parsons is the best comp I've seen in this thread so far but not great either. Leaf will have much better mid-range and post game, Parsons is a better 3-point shooter.

I would say no lower than #12 in the draft. I would much rather take him than say Frank Kaminsky who went #9 in his draft.
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Re: TJ Leaf 

Post#20 » by doordoor123 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:21 pm

madmaxmedia wrote:He's a very skilled and heady 4 who is bringing it as a freshman. I don't know what his NBA ceiling is, he's not some freak of nature but I don't think he'g going to be a tweener type who has no position in the NBA. I think it's a safe bet he will get stronger and further develop his skills going forward so his floor will be pretty high (relative to draft position.)

Chandler Parsons is the best comp I've seen in this thread so far but not great either. Leaf will have much better mid-range and post game, Parsons is a better 3-point shooter.

I would say no lower than #12 in the draft. I would much rather take him than say Frank Kaminsky who went #9 in his draft.


That's what I'm saying. Kamisnky went 9 and Leaf would help a team much more than Kaminsky would have. The team Leaf would go to he wouldn't be a top 3 scoring option, but his energy, passing and shooting (inside and outside) would make a bigger difference right now to a team (not individually) than a guy who is raw with a ton of upside. He has enough for someone to take him 5 overall. I could easily see him going ahead of Malik Monk, Jonathan Isaac and OG Anunoby if he's going to help a team right away.

Also note I'm talking about if UCLA wins the whole thing. Right now I'd say 13 is probably as high as he's going to go. If he proves to be part of a winning culture, it makes him more valuable. Not talking in terms of actual value of the player he will become, draft value. Like how Kaminsky went 9.

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