NBA Draft Profile: Meyers Leonard

By: Kels Dayton


7-1, 250 lbs.

Hometown: Robinson, IL

School: Illinois

Class: Sophomore


Des Moines Register

STRENGTHS: Leonard is an athletic big man who really came on strong in his second season at Illinois. He averaged 13.6 points and 8.2 boards and despite his anonymity, ended up becoming arguably the best center in the Big Ten. Leonard has great vision for a big man and can make excellent passes out of the post. He’s athletic and coordinated enough to find the open man and hit him in stride. He also uses his strength inside to gain good rebounding position and knows how to seal his man down low. The big fella is a decent free throw shooter (.732 pct) as well.


WEAKNESSES: Consistency is the major thing you worry about with Meyers. At times, he looks like he can be the best player in the gym and then seems to lose confidence. Part of that may be because his game is still developing. As with most college big men, you’d like to see him add a few more post moves. Also, he acts a little bit too much like a guard, jumping to make passes and chilling out by the three-point line at times. If he can correct those things,


BOTTOM LINE: Meyers Leonard’s name has been rising up draft boards this spring, and it’s easy to see why. Leonard’s strength and athleticism, combined with basketball IQ and potential for a solid 15-18 foot jump shot make him an intriguing prospect. He seems less risk, less reward than players like Andre Drummond or Perry Jones, and a team would be smart to select him early and give him a year or two to develop into the position. It’s hard to see Leonard being a bust in the NBA.


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