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Thread: Draft Profile: Kawhi Leonard

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    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    Default Draft Profile: Kawhi Leonard

    One of the most highly touted prospects here training at Joe Abunassar's Impact Basketball, Kawhi Leonard was amongst the most impressive players we had the opportunity to see on a number of levels. Working on his shooting mechanics, ball handling, and overall perimeter skills, Leonard also impressed with his physical tools and stoic demeanor.

    Leonard's workouts are geared towards his development as a full-time wing player. He sees himself as a long-term shooting guard/small forward with the ability to defend multiple positions, and seems to have a very good understanding of what he needs to work on. Since the day he arrived in Las Vegas, Leonard has been looking to add polish to his perimeter arsenal, especially his jump shot. We saw some promising strides in his skill level as we watched him go through extensive shoot-arounds, participate in two skill development sessions under the tutelage of Chauncey Billups, and play a few games of three-on-three.

    One of the more positive signs we saw from Leonard came in the simple shooting sessions he went through on both days we watched him. Spotting up and knocking down shots from the midrange and beyond the NBA 3-point line, Leonard's shooting mechanics look significantly more consistent than they did during his days at San Diego State. His release point looked the same on almost every shot he attempted, and his footwork appeared to get better as he got more shots up.

    In the skill development sessions, we got to see Leonard, along with Alec Burks and Malcolm Lee, work on a number of different spin dribble, step-back, and aggressive scoring moves. With Chauncey Billups taking time to teach each player the nuances of each of the things they were working on, Leonard looked exceptionally crisp putting the ball on the floor. Unlike Lee and Burks, Leonard has quite a bit of power to his gameósomething that should ease the transition he needs to make from the NCAA to the NBA.

    Leonard was able to showcase that more easily than his jump shot in three-on-three competition. The rules of the game limited each team to one shot and out, meaning there were no second chance opportunities from offensive rebounds. Under those restrictions, each team was trying to get high-percentage shots on every possession.

    Over the course of the games we watched, Leonard looked comfortable handling the ball in traffic and finding teammates moving without the ball. With his biggest strength, rebounding, removed from the equation here, he still made his presence felt on offense with a few midrange shots and finishes around the bucket, but did most of his damage defensively. As you'll see in our workout video, he was extremely aggressive when defending the perimeter and made some impressive plays rotating back to his man on the pick and roll. Leonard did nothing to dispel sentiments that he's one of the top defenders in this class.

    Amongst all the prospects we saw here, Leonard may be the biggest beneficiary of Impact's on-court training. He's a ridiculous physical specimen with no body fat, long arms, and giant hands, but has room to improve skill-wise. He's been able to take advantage of his time here to the fullest since he loves being in the gym. With his defensive ability and workman-like interior game, Leonard's ability to showcase what he's been working on at Impact at the combine and in private workouts is worth keeping an eye on as he looks to climb up draft boards.

    From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com/article/...#ixzz1MSyzkJAz
    http://www.draftexpress.com

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    Raptors Republic All-Star ezz_bee's Avatar
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    Maybe if we get the sixth pick or trade down/pick up an extra draft pick. I don't see him as a third or fourth pick
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    Raptors Republic Superstar Chr1s1anL's Avatar
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    His been rising a lot on ppls big boards. He top-5 on Chad Ford big board and his expected to rise on GM's big boards when the workouts start. I don't think the raptors are satisfied with J.J. His 24 getting Kawhi would be getting young version(20 years-old) of him.
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    Raptors Republic All-Star yertu damkule's Avatar
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    Quote ezz_bee wrote: View Post
    Maybe if we get the sixth pick or trade down/pick up an extra draft pick. I don't see him as a third or fourth pick
    i just don't see the logic in that. first off, the likelihood of getting anything of value from the team holding, say, the 6th pick for the 3rd (assuming that's what the raps end up with) is fairly remote. maybe they'd be able to squeeze a future 2nd rounder, but that's probably best-case scenario. more likely, the team picking 6th isn't going to have anyone on the board they're SO desparate to take that they feel the need to move up, unless it's to the #1 or (maybe) #2 (depending on need).

    basically, if player x (and let's say it's leonard) is THE GUY that the raps have pegged as THEIR GUY, then to not pick him in their slot if they're unable to move down simply because he's not 'rated' as high as the 3rd overall pick seems silly. i'm not suggesting that that's what they do (though i really like him...think the JJ comparos are a bit silly, i think he's more of a marion with a better offensive game, but whatever), but to bypass a player they like in favour of a guy who's 'ranked' only slightly higher in a super-weak draft (but who they might not be as high on) seems patently absurd.

    in most drafts, the likelihood of getting a bona fide NBA starter and/or allstar-type player with the 3rd pick is pretty good. this isn't like most drafts...after the top pick, it's something of a total crapshoot...and even with irving, there are no guarantees (inasmuch as there are ever 'guarantees' in a draft) that he'll be the 'special' player most think he will be. point is, the player they pick at 3 (if that is where they end up picking) shouldn't be thought of as some saviour; as such, i think they should go for the guy who's going to be the most solid in the areas that they need, keeping in mind who they project to be franchise stalwarts.
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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Not in my opinion, no. Their skill set is vastly different. James Johnson's ball handling skills are VERY rare for a guy his size.
    Kawhi Leonard, at 6-7, 225lbs isn't much bigger than Demar, who is listed at 6-7, 220lbs.
    James Johnson is 6-9, 245lbs, but has the skills and game like hes 6-7, 225lbs. He will improve his jumpshot. And he's still VERY young.
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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    Not in my opinion, no. Their skill set is vastly different. James Johnson's ball handling skills are VERY rare for a guy his size.
    Kawhi Leonard, at 6-7, 225lbs isn't much bigger than Demar, who is listed at 6-7, 220lbs.
    James Johnson is 6-9, 245lbs, but has the skills and game like hes 6-7, 225lbs. He will improve his jumpshot. And he's still VERY young.
    James Johnson is not 6'9", I don't care what the NBA page has him listed at. James measured out at 6'7" flat foot at the combine, no way any one is getting boosted a full 2" on their height. While JJ does play at around 245-250, he would be much more effective at 235 or so, and i think we will see him come into to camp a little more lean than he has been in the recent past. Johnson has shown a good ability to handle and pass the ball from the 3 spot, does Leonard have that in him.....I don't know. I will say that in the video he has shown me more skills than I thought he had, his mid-range shot looks smooth and his handles are fluid, but he looked a little smaller than 6'7".

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    he looks to be a better shooter than jj. maybe defender/rebounder too. if anything, i see nothing wrong with a little competition for the position.
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    Quote WJF wrote: View Post
    James Johnson is not 6'9", I don't care what the NBA page has him listed at. James measured out at 6'7" flat foot at the combine, no way any one is getting boosted a full 2" on their height. While JJ does play at around 245-250, he would be much more effective at 235 or so, and i think we will see him come into to camp a little more lean than he has been in the recent past. Johnson has shown a good ability to handle and pass the ball from the 3 spot, does Leonard have that in him.....I don't know. I will say that in the video he has shown me more skills than I thought he had, his mid-range shot looks smooth and his handles are fluid, but he looked a little smaller than 6'7".
    Your wrong. And this kid just looks like another sonny weems, no thanks. I doubt he'll be able guard the taller and stronger SF's in this league. Stop hating on JJ

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    The Raptors have JJ and could, though highly unlikely re-sign, Julian Wright. JJ and JW are ++ defenders and athletes who have suspect offensive game. JL will essentially be a more expensive JJ.

    Honestly, this team has young talent at every position, who can develop into solid solid NBA'ers. The only position this team lacks, good prospects is at centre. Hence, this team should draft Enes and run away laughing.

    Look, Ed Davis, Demar, Amir, JJ, JW, Bayless, Alabi, Ajinca, Weems are all still college eligble. Compare those players as prospects to the ones in this draft, if coming out of college this year who would you draft?

    Is there a SF with a higher offensive/defensive potential than JW, JJ, Kleiza. I'd say no, with the possible exception of DWill.

    Bayless is like a lot of the pg's in this draft a lot of skill and potential, but not an established NBA pg. So, is there a point-guard that can start for you for 10 years, yes, Irving.

    Are there centre's with better all around games, than Bargnani, Alabi, Ajinca? Yes, Kanter.

    This team doesn't need to draft sg. Since, Bayless, Barbosa, weems, JJ, JW can all play that position.

    Remember, this team is made up of prospects not established NBA players.
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    Quote Raptors_ wrote: View Post
    Your wrong. And this kid just looks like another sonny weems, no thanks. I doubt he'll be able guard the taller and stronger SF's in this league. Stop hating on JJ
    How the fck am I wrong? James Johnson did measure out at 6'7" http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/James-Johnson-5053/

    Having not played significant minutes during the season James came to us a little bit out of shape, not Oliver Miller out of shape, but by no means was he is mid season form. He will come into camp a little better prepared as he feels he has been given the opportunity to play regular minutes for a team that is heading in the right direction.

    If you even took the time to read my post no where did I hate on Johnson, "Johnson has shown a good ability to handle and pass the ball from the 3 spot", does that sound like hate?

    I had the opportunity to watch James Johnson play live at Wake Forest and followed his career fairly closely before he ever became a Raptor, so don't come spouting I am wrong if you don't want to back that crap up!

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote WJF wrote: View Post
    How the fck am I wrong? James Johnson did measure out at 6'7" http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/James-Johnson-5053/

    Having not played significant minutes during the season James came to us a little bit out of shape, not Oliver Miller out of shape, but by no means was he is mid season form. He will come into camp a little better prepared as he feels he has been given the opportunity to play regular minutes for a team that is heading in the right direction.

    If you even took the time to read my post no where did I hate on Johnson, "Johnson has shown a good ability to handle and pass the ball from the 3 spot", does that sound like hate?

    I had the opportunity to watch James Johnson play live at Wake Forest and followed his career fairly closely before he ever became a Raptor, so don't come spouting I am wrong if you don't want to back that crap up!
    Well luckily NOBODY plays without Shoes on, so we can stop this 6'-7" measurement.

    So then all of WakeForestSports.com, ESPN.com, NBA.com, Wikipedia, Yahoo Sports, are lying about his height, because he asked them to? Even DraftExpress, which you are siting as your source for him being 6'7" has him listed at 6'-8".

    These debates over a Players listed height, vs. Actual Height are ridiculous.
    There's no way to know for sure how tall they are, except to go by what we are given or measure the guy ourselves.
    Majority of outlets list him at 6'-9". I list him at 6'-9".
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    Here is what I am saying is that listed heights are up for debate, I am fine giving a guy an inch over his actual flat foot measurement, but James Johnson is not a 6'9" player, I don't care what the NBA, ESPN, or the local YMCA has him listed at. The only true fact is that he was measured at the combine and came in at 6'7", and that is coming from my source.
    The whole, you don't play the game without shoes argument is pretty silly, because you also don't play much of the game standing straight up as well. Length and reach are bigger factors than height.

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    Quote WJF wrote: View Post
    Here is what I am saying is that listed heights are up for debate, I am fine giving a guy an inch over his actual flat foot measurement, but James Johnson is not a 6'9" player, I don't care what the NBA, ESPN, or the local YMCA has him listed at. The only true fact is that he was measured at the combine and came in at 6'7", and that is coming from my source.
    The whole, you don't play the game without shoes argument is pretty silly, because you also don't play much of the game standing straight up as well. Length and reach are bigger factors than height.
    I've made the point before that Standing Reach and Wingspan are far more important to the game. So you don't need to argue that with me. I agree. But why then, make such a big deal about whether he is 6'-9"?

    I realize he was measured at the Combine as 6'-7" ... WITHOUT SHOES.
    NO players height is listed w/o Shoes. Nobody. In the whole league. So fine, you can say that he is 6'-7" and your "source" backs that up, but your source also calls him out as a 6'-8" Forward.

    ...So that must throw you for a loop. Your source is giving Conflicting facts..!!!
    Either way, whatever. You're arguing some pretty Minor, Trivial points. Especially if, as you say, "you don't play the game standing straight up." ...
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    Raptors Republic All-Star WJF's Avatar
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    Actually I am not arguing his height, I made argument for the fact they he will play more effective at a slightly lower weight and that I believe he will come to camp more trim and ready to go.

    My point on him being listed at 6'9" is that it is a full 2" inch boost and that is a bit to extreme, no one should buy into that, it is as bad as pro wrestling. I know all players are listed with their "shoes on" measurement, but we don't see new height listing every time a player gets new kicks. Give a guy an inch, and inch and a half if you want to round up, but 2 inches, no wonder dudes are walking around thinking they all have 8" dicks.

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote WJF wrote: View Post
    Actually I am not arguing his height, I made argument for the fact they he will play more effective at a slightly lower weight and that I believe he will come to camp more trim and ready to go.
    "James Johnson is not 6'9", I don't care what the NBA page has him listed at. James measured out at 6'7" flat foot at the combine, no way any one is getting boosted a full 2" on their height." -WJF
    To me, this sounds like arguing his height... just saying.

    Quote WJF wrote: View Post
    Give a guy an inch, and inch and a half if you want to round up, but 2 inches, no wonder dudes are walking around thinking they all have 8" dicks.
    Ok, so give him 1.5" above his 6'-7" height, and he gets 6'-8.5".
    Well seeing as nobody lists .5" increments, that get's rounded up to 6'-9".
    That goes for ANYONE else that is listed at that. It's the way the NBA lists its players heights.

    Whether I say James Johnson is 6'-9" or 6'-8.5", shouldn't matter. My point was that he is BIGGER, and STRONGER than Kawhi, while still being a better Ball Handler, and likely a better defender, seeing as he has more weight to throw around.
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    Raptors Republic All-Star WJF's Avatar
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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    To me, this sounds like arguing his height... just saying.



    Ok, so give him 1.5" above his 6'-7" height, and he gets 6'-8.5".
    Well seeing as nobody lists .5" increments, that get's rounded up to 6'-9".
    That goes for ANYONE else that is listed at that. It's the way the NBA lists its players heights.

    Whether I say James Johnson is 6'-9" or 6'-8.5", shouldn't matter. My point was that he is BIGGER, and STRONGER than Kawhi, while still being a better Ball Handler, and likely a better defender, seeing as he has more weight to throw around.




    Who disputed that?

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    Raptors Republic All-Star yertu damkule's Avatar
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    well, like i always say, there's only one thing better than arguing about a player's height...and that's arguing about whether we're arguing about a player's height. ah, the internet...

    anywaaaay...FWIW, i think leonard is gonna be a better pro than JJ. not that that's (necessarily) saying all that much.
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    For what it's worth, I didn't read WJF as saying James Johnson is only 6'7". He was merely pointing out that 6'9" is a bit of a stretch as it's two full inches over his barefoot height. If anyone reads between the lines, it's pretty clear WJF meant he's more likely 6'8" in shoes. I don't know why it turned into such a big deal.

    What we should really take from this is that more players (like Hassan Whiteside) should buy whatever shoes Cole Aldrich was wearing for the draft combine last year. 2.25" gained from not being barefoot, wow! If only Whiteside had been wearing those, instead of his 0.75" flip flops (I know DraftExpress has changed his measurements sometime in the last season to a solid 1" bump, but it used to be less), he wouldn't have fallen out of the 1st round. Height matters!

    (Just in case it wasn't clear, I was half-joking in that second paragraph.)

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    Super Moderator Joey's Avatar
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    Quote Quixotic wrote: View Post
    For what it's worth, I didn't read WJF as saying James Johnson is only 6'7". He was merely pointing out that 6'9" is a bit of a stretch as it's two full inches over his barefoot height. If anyone reads between the lines, it's pretty clear WJF meant he's more likely 6'8" in shoes. I don't know why it turned into such a big deal.
    But.. but.. He started it. hahah
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    Quote joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
    but.. But.. He started it. hahah
    =ppp

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