Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012?

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Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#1 » by peachbucket » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:48 pm

Just watched him play for first time last night for Illinois. Not sure I've seen his combination of size and athleticism/footspeed...even at NBA level.

He is listed at 7"1 and looks every bit the part with long arms and wide athletic frame that looks like it will easily be able to carry 250-265 with time. What really jumped out was the way he moved which was more similar to a 6'7 wing player. He had no problem keeping guards in front of him on the perimeter as well as switching on pick and rolls. He was also extremely fast going up and down the court and exhibited a very good motor on both offense and defense. Great form on his free throws (77% this year) which leads me to believe he can develop a nice midrange game like Smits or Ilgauskas had. Soft hands as he caught everything thrown his way and finished well around the rim. Looked like he has a 30+ inch vertical which is extremely rare for a true 7 footer and combined with his length makes him a shot blocking machine.

Here are his stats from this year after four games...
MIN FGM-FGA FG% 3PM-3PA 3P% FTM-FTA FT% REB AST BLK STL PF TO PTS
24.0 4.8-7.8 .613 0.3-0.3 1.000 3.5-4.5 .778 7.5 0.8 4.5 0.8 2.0 1.8 13.3

Here is a short highlight from high school to give you an idea about his level of athleticism...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qo13IM2D ... re=related

I guess his lack of strength and maturity prevented him from getting minutes and contributing last year as a freshman...this might have been because he was still growing. He is now starting to put his immense physical gifts together on the court and is seemingly gaining confidence and improving with every game.

His next game is the finals of Cancun challenge tonight at 9:30 (613 on directv). Keep an eye on this kid as he's about to skyrocket up draft boards.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#2 » by BigBaller » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:04 am

Nope. Top 5, Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, Jeremy Lamb, Quincy Miller, Standout from March Madness.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#3 » by peachbucket » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:16 am

I don't think a competent GM would take Quincy Miller over him right now, let alone after a full season and individual workouts.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#4 » by ManualRam » Thu Nov 24, 2011 12:39 am

Top 5? No. Lottery? Yes. He can easily be the 2nd center taken off the board.
People talk about zeller's ability to run the floor, but i think leonard is every bit the athlete that zeller is...and then some. Not only is he bigger, longer and bouncier, but he has the frame to put on plenty more weight. His defensive potential is much higher than zeller's. His overall potential is higher than ezeli's. In fact, i thnk he's already a better player than ezeli, who imo is getting ranked as high as he is because of the lack of depth at the C position.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#5 » by peachbucket » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:50 am

ManualRam wrote:Top 5? No. Lottery? Yes. He can easily be the 2nd center taken off the board.
People talk about zeller's ability to run the floor, but i think leonard is every bit the athlete that zeller is...and then some. Not only is he bigger, longer and bouncier, but he has the frame to put on plenty more weight. His defensive potential is much higher than zeller's. His overall potential is higher than ezeli's. In fact, i thnk he's already a better player than ezeli, who imo is getting ranked as high as he is because of the lack of depth at the C position.


Yeah, top 5 is really ambitious especially in this draft class. However if he continues to progress throughout the year then not entirely out of the realm of possibility. Center position is always at a premium and bigs are often drafted on their long term potential as opposed to current ability (Howard over Okafur). Remember, Hasheem Thabeet went #2, Bargnani #1, and Milicic #2 in a one of the best drafts ever. I know that's kind of a scary list but I think that Meyers is a much better prospect than those guys were.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#6 » by ManualRam » Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:14 am

leonard is a freaking house and he's not even done filling out yet. he really hit the weight room over the summer and reportedly grew an inch as well.
he's listed now at 7'1 245.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#7 » by Cammo101 » Thu Nov 24, 2011 9:03 am

He certainly appears headed for being a top 5 pick in 2013, but this year's draft is just too deep for him to crack the top 5 unless he just goes crazy. I think he would likely be a late lotto pick in this year's draft at the moment.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#8 » by Charsace » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:48 pm

Cammo101 wrote:He certainly appears headed for being a top 5 pick in 2013, but this year's draft is just too deep for him to crack the top 5 unless he just goes crazy. I think he would likely be a late lotto pick in this year's draft at the moment.

I think he can possibly crack the top 5. A lot of the bigs in this draft have slight frames and/or tweeners. This kid looks like a true center. I think a lot of the guards will fall out of the lotto. Lamb is the only guard that looks like a lock to get drafted in the top 10.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#9 » by 215paperboy » Sat Nov 26, 2011 5:25 am

peachbucket wrote:I don't think a competent GM would take Quincy Miller over him right now, let alone after a full season and individual workouts.

kevin durant and greg oden all over again.
RandomKnight wrote:Nash is better than magic. Nash has similar impact, a better skill set and more versatility.

Flynt Flossy wrote:Which NBA player has the most contagious smile? When you see their smile, it makes you happy inside and makes you want to smile
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#10 » by peachbucket » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:51 am

11/27/2011 Chicago St at Illinois
STARTERS MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
Meyers Leonard, C 14 4-7 0-0 3-3 0 3 1 1 1 0 0 11

Despite only playing 14 minutes because the game was a rout, Leonard still showed the things that make him an elite NBA prospect.

-- Good hands as he caught some tough passes and and did not commit a turnover.
-- Great touch from midrange....hit a couple of 15 foot jumpers and went 3-3 from line.
-- Elite athleticism for his size and position....had a monster dunk where his head was a couple inches from rim level. I think he will measure out about a 9-4 standing reach with a max vertical of 34 inches which will give him one of the top max vertical reaches ever measured.

After watching him for three games I would say the best comparison that I can make to Leonard's toolset is David Robinson. Now I'm not saying that he is nearly the player Robinson was when he came into the NBA, as Robinson was much more advanced, but there are a lot of similarities between the two from a physical, athletic, and skill standpoint.

Leonard's biggest problem right now is his lack of lower body strength which causes him to get pushed around by stronger players under the basket and makes him too passive battling for position as he shy's away from contact. He also hasn't shows much beyond a turn around jumper from the post up position although there is no reason he shouldn't be able to develop post moves with his foot speed and agility. Once he puts on another 20 lbs. of muscle, which he should be able to with ease, his game should explode on both sides of the ball.

I'm still sticking with top 5 even if he comes out this year....his tools are just so rare at even the NBA level.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#11 » by ManualRam » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:27 am

i actually think leonard has more in common athletically with... (gasp), dwight howard than david robinson. leonard's more of a guy who gathers and explodes and has a similar springy gait that dwight has.
robinson ran the floor like a guard and he had the face up, blow-by ability of a SF. i dont think leonard will have that type of first step.

people who havent gotten a chance to watch him this yr might be surprised at how much of a freak this kid is though.

also, you'd figure that with as much muscle that he's put on in a short time that his shot would be a bit stiff, but it's not. those baseline jumpers were impressive.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#12 » by peachbucket » Mon Nov 28, 2011 8:58 am

ManualRam wrote:i actually think leonard has more in common athletically with... (gasp), dwight howard than david robinson. leonard's more of a guy who gathers and explodes and has a similar springy gait that dwight has.
robinson ran the floor like a guard and he had the face up, blow-by ability of a SF. i dont think leonard will have that type of first step.

people who havent gotten a chance to watch him this yr might be surprised at how much of a freak this kid is though.

also, you'd figure that with as much muscle that he's put on in a short time that his shot would be a bit stiff, but it's not. those baseline jumpers were impressive.


I think D Howard is more explosive/athletic than Leonard but he is only 6'9"...he also can't shoot beyond 8 feet.

Leonard actually does remind me of a SF on the court...with the way he shoots and handles the ball I'm guessing that he grew up playing guard or SF and just went through a monster late growth spurt like Anthony Davis. That play when he jumped the passing lane on the perimeter to steal the ball from a gaurd and then dribbled the length of the court for the reverse layup is just something you don't see from a 7 footer. He makes me think of Robinson because of his size/build (although not as developed or strong yet), athleticism, and shooting ability. Too me, Leonard actually seems more fluid (less mechanical) than Robinson was although maybe not quite as explosive.

I know it's bizarre to have to go back 20 years for a comparison but I can't think of anyone more recent that was a true seven footer who was that athletic and could shoot!
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#13 » by EddieJonesFan » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:14 am

Javale McGee?
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#14 » by peachbucket » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:46 am

EddieJonesFan wrote:Javale McGee?


Size and athleticism yes, but McGee is not nearly as good a shooter...below 60% from the line while Leonard is 18-22 this year.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#15 » by ManualRam » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:23 pm

peachbucket wrote:
ManualRam wrote:i actually think leonard has more in common athletically with... (gasp), dwight howard than david robinson. leonard's more of a guy who gathers and explodes and has a similar springy gait that dwight has.
robinson ran the floor like a guard and he had the face up, blow-by ability of a SF. i dont think leonard will have that type of first step.

people who havent gotten a chance to watch him this yr might be surprised at how much of a freak this kid is though.

also, you'd figure that with as much muscle that he's put on in a short time that his shot would be a bit stiff, but it's not. those baseline jumpers were impressive.


I think D Howard is more explosive/athletic than Leonard but he is only 6'9"...he also can't shoot beyond 8 feet.

Leonard actually does remind me of a SF on the court...with the way he shoots and handles the ball I'm guessing that he grew up playing guard or SF and just went through a monster late growth spurt like Anthony Davis. That play when he jumped the passing lane on the perimeter to steal the ball from a gaurd and then dribbled the length of the court for the reverse layup is just something you don't see from a 7 footer. He makes me think of Robinson because of his size/build (although not as developed or strong yet), athleticism, and shooting ability. Too me, Leonard actually seems more fluid (less mechanical) than Robinson was although maybe not quite as explosive.

I know it's bizarre to have to go back 20 years for a comparison but I can't think of anyone more recent that was a true seven footer who was that athletic and could shoot!


yes, dwight is the more explosive leaper but i still think leonard's athleticism is more similar to dwight's than it is to robinson's. im not sure if you're not remembering prime robinson correctly but his ability to run the floor or blow by C's was unmatched and still is to this day. he was the sleekest, straight line running C of all time (i didnt see wilt or russell).
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKVqpXl3M18[/youtube]

if meyers were to declare this yr he wouldnt even be the fastest C at changing ends in this draft. imo, both drummond and zeller are faster end to end. i dont see the robinson-like fluidity either. in my eyes he's more springy, strong and a bit mechanical like dwight is.
i dont see the SF skills either. he did have a growth spurt during his freshman and sophomore yr in HS. he can shoot from a static position but i dont see the ability to handle the ball that a guy like ant davis has.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#16 » by EddieJonesFan » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:37 pm

Robinson was unbelievable, I miss the days of elite centers.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#17 » by peachbucket » Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:16 am

Illinois playing on ESPN at 7:30....will be interesting to see how he does under the bright lights against ACC competition.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#18 » by Grits n Gravy » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:16 am

looks like he's got a pretty bad motor, no fire and pretty soft...only watched 1st half of illinois game.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#19 » by 7-Day Dray » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:18 am

Great height, but is not very decisive with his moves from what I've seen so far, and needs to get stronger. But with more seasoning, he should be a top pick when he declares.
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Re: Meyers Leonard Watch....Top 5 bound in 2012? 

Post#20 » by ManualRam » Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:24 am

Grits n Gravy wrote:looks like he's got a pretty bad motor, no fire and pretty soft...only watched 1st half of illinois game.


Thats pretty much the opposite of what he is.
Cant see how you could come to that conclusion after watching this half. Hes working hard to get position and the guards were doing a sht job getting him the ball. When he did get touches he made stuff happen.

He does need to improve his defensive awareness. Also needs to go straight up on blocks instead of trying to swipe the ball.
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