Toronto Sun: Leonard might be what Raps need
Old 06-16-2011, 10:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Raptors Toronto Sun: Leonard might be what Raps need

Pretty good article, put the whole article up. Love what I'm hearing about him. If it's too much, let me know I'l cut it down...

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He’s a tenacious defender and rebounder with a well deserved reputation as a gym rat.
Is there anything else the Toronto Raptors need to know about Kawhi Leonard?
Leonard may not bring the kind of name recognition in the 2011 draft class that a Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams or even Brandon Knight do, but what he does bring are the kinds of tools that were decidedly lacking on the Raptors roster this past season.
The 6-foot-7 small forward out of San Diego State may as well be the poster boy for everything the Raptors wished they had this past season.
Leonard was one of six draft prospects, including GTA products Tristan Thompson and Cory Joseph, who worked out for the Raptors on Wednesday at the Air Canada Centre.
Leonard is one of those player’s whose draft stock has improved since the process began and while he’s not about to put any faith in what a mock draft published by some media outlet might say, he did acknowledge teams he has worked out for have been impressed with his improved shooting.
Leonard’s shooting, particularly his shooting from long range was one of, if not the weakest part of his game this past year.
“Nobody sees me working out from the public but the coaches who have seen my workouts have told me they can see the development in my shot and how hard I have been working,” Leonard said. “They like how my release point comes off now. It feels good right now and I’m more confident.”
Leonard shot a dismal .291 from the NCAA three-point line last season but then he hooked up with agent Brian Elfus who immediately set out to change that perception.
Elfus has had him training at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas for the past 3 1/2 weeks — working on his shooting with well known shot doctor Joe Abunassar
There’s no question that outside of an improved defence and better rebounding the next need on the Raptors wish list is a consistent outside shooter.
Leonard may not be there yet, but he’s making progress.
Jim Kelly, the Raptors senior director of player personnel and a guy who is based on the west coast, has seen Leonard enough to know the player he saw Wednesday and the one he watched in game action over the past two years are not the same player.
“His shooting touch has definitely improved since late in the season,” Kelly said. “I think his proficiency at three-point shooting was probably as good as anyone here today.”
Leonard is not a talkative sort by nature, but he knows the process entails selling himself and he was playing along Wednesday.
He had never been to Canada before the workout but says he would have no problem coming to Toronto if he were drafted. “I want to be an NBA player no matter who drafts me,” Leonard said.
And don’t misinterpret his off-court, laid back style to what he does once the lights go on.
“The game of basketball is a totally different thing than just being with your fans and chillin’,” Leonard said. “Once I get on the court it’s a different story. It’s a game of basketball and I put my passion and love into it.”
Leonard doesn’t do anything half way when it comes to basketball.
Abunassar learned that early on in their relationship.
“We literally have to kick him out of the gym,” Abunassar told Mark Zeigler of the San Diego Union Tribune. “It’s like, ‘You have to go home.’ He’ll keep a ball after a workout and go over to a side basket and get someone to rebound for him. Before you know it, he’s into another shooting session.”
The secret to Leonard’s defensive and rebounding prowess can be found in his impressive 7-foot-3 wingspan that is a tad freakish on a 6-foot-7 frame. And if his wingspan doesn’t impress, the size of his hands will stop a stranger in his tracks. Palming a basketball is child’s play to Leonard whose hands measure 9 3/8 inches or about two full inches larger than the average male.
Leonard may or may not wind up in Toronto on draft night, but there’s no denying his skill set is exactly the type the Raptors lacked in their lineup last
http://m.torontosun.com/2011/06/15/k...s-missing-link

Last edited by jeffb; 06-16-2011 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Love the profile+ he fits the biggest need
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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gym rat? This the guy that put up 3 reps at 185lbs? I know it's not everything..... but I don't see SF as the biggest need on this team, rather top talent and abrasive defence is. If this is that guy, fine.

Being a potential defensive freak really helps.... but I'm also wary of yet another guy that has been a poor shooter. Is this guy another Julian Wright? Asking, don't know enough about him really.
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Old 06-16-2011, 11:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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gym rat? This the guy that put up 3 reps at 185lbs? I know it's not everything..... but I don't see SF as the biggest need on this team, rather top talent and abrasive defence is. If this is that guy, fine.

Being a potential defensive freak really helps.... but I'm also wary of yet another guy that has been a poor shooter. Is this guy another Julian Wright? Asking, don't know enough about him really.
When someone calls a basketball player a gym rat I'm guessing they don't mean they're in the gym pumping weights and benching 300lbs. As for the SF position, if Weems isn't re-signed all we have is JJ who is still a big question mark. I'd prefer a PG, but beyond that I'd take Leonard over a project big.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When someone calls a basketball player a gym rat I'm guessing they don't mean they're in the gym pumping weights and benching 300lbs. As for the SF position, if Weems isn't re-signed all we have is JJ who is still a big question mark. I'd prefer a PG, but beyond that I'd take Leonard over a project big.
a gym rat can mean anything to do with physical activity.... I never said anything about benching 300lbs though. I agree he'd be better than a project big unless that big has immense upside. This team needs talent that makes itself hard not to reward with a starting spot. Depth at this point should not be a concern, even at SF. Heck, sign Weems for cheap, he's a good practice guy that hopefully can learn a role and learn to consistently defend.... but this pick needs to be best player, not filling depth concerns.

I like how he's praised for freakish attributes... but many before him have as well.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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a gym rat can mean anything to do with physical activity.... I never said anything about benching 300lbs though. I agree he'd be better than a project big unless that big has immense upside. This team needs talent that makes itself hard not to reward with a starting spot. Depth at this point should not be a concern, even at SF. Heck, sign Weems for cheap, he's a good practice guy that hopefully can learn a role and learn to consistently defend.... but this pick needs to be best player, not filling depth concerns.

I like how he's praised for freakish attributes... but many before him have as well.
Well for me, baring someone falling in our laps it should be one of Knight, Walker or Leonard, The only big that sort of intregues me is Biyombo.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The more I see him the more he reminds me of a sober Ron Artest.
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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well if he's artest.... sign um up!
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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well if he's artest.... sign um up!
get him a few drinks too. Nothing better than a drunk Artest! Love it.
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hands 2 inches bigger than the avg male....

a 7'3" wingspan for a guy who's 6'7"...

AND he's a hard-working gym rat?


I'm sold on this circus freak. If the kid's got a good attitude I'd LOVE to take him with a later pick if he's still available. You can't teach stats like those. If he can put that body to work he could do some CRAZY things.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I don't want another wing who can't shoot starting. Unless we have a player who can stretch the floor we are going to be in trouble, but considering what we have to choose from, he's a good prospect. There have been people comparing him to Gerald Wallace. The first time I noticed this guy's hands was in his draft profile, he was palming the ball like it was a volley ball or something. This guy seems like he'll either be really good or a huge bust...
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:14 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This guy seems like he'll either be really good or a huge bust...
Which can be said about anyone beyond Irving/Williams by the looks of it.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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i'd love to see leonard and demar running the wings on the break. that shit would be scary.

not to jinx it but his body sort of reminds me of vince
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:47 PM   #14 (permalink)
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i'd love to see leonard and demar running the wings on the break. that shit would be scary.

not to jinx it but his body sort of reminds me of vince
I thought that as well. His game is also reminiscent of Carter's when he first came out - a slashing wingman who needed work on his perimeter game.

The timing is also similar in that the NBA had a work stoppage in Carter's draft year and we could experience another one this year.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:55 PM   #15 (permalink)
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i'd love to see leonard and demar running the wings on the break. that shit would be scary.

not to jinx it but his body sort of reminds me of vince
Kawhi and DeMar, the new T-Mac and Carter?
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Wizz gonna draft him when we draft Kemba!!
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:15 PM   #17 (permalink)
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If we get 8th take him. Him or Biyombo. We need SOME D.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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that would be SO awesome if we did get detroit's 8th and get him with it.

i watched this vid a while ago and after reading this article, i hope we get him!
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:46 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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