Full Name: Meyers Patrick Leonard
Date/Place of Birth: 2/27/1992-Robinson, IL
Height/Weight-7’ 1”, 250 lbs
Primary Position: C
Projected Role: Backup C (albeit one whom will play heavy minutes).
NBA Draft: Drafted 11th overall by the Portland Trailblazers in the 2012 NBA draft.
Honors: Honorable Mention All-Big 10 (2012).
11-12 NCAA Averages-13.6 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 1.3 APG, 2.1 TOPG, 1.9 BPG. 11-12 College PER: 24.02
You would not have figured Meyers Leonard would have been a lottery pick at this time last year. Barely used his freshman season, he really came into his own the later half of his second, and final, college season. Leonard is a very athletic big man, fast for his size and has long arms and solid defensive instincts, especially in the post. He is a very good shot blocker and rebounder. He does a good job scoring close to the basket and his offensive game overall, although raw, is improving. At worst he should be a solid defensive presence but at best could be a pretty complete player and a solid contributor for years to come.
It seems like practically every single NBA big man takes time to develop and Leonard is no exception. His offensive game is somewhat limited to around the basket, although that should improve with time. A bigger concern may be that he sometimes lacks focus so will need a coach to constantly push him. In addition, he probably needs to get a bit stronger in order to avoid being pushed around down low by, shall we say, heavier players. Still, given time and the right coaching staff these are all fixable concerns and he has a far steeper developmental curve than say Drummond (albeit with a less spectacular upside).
Did You Know?:
Leonard’s father was killed when Meyers was six in a freak bicycle accident and his mother has been largely housebound since then due to injuries resulting from a horse riding injury.
Leonard was ranked 31st best player in the country as a HS senior and the sixth ranked center, however he was drafted higher than any of the players ranked above him.
Leonard was the first Illinois basketball player since Deron Williams in 2005 to be drafted in the first round.