This kid really intrigues me. For this season, Yahoo and ESPN ranked this guy at 140 & 139 respectively. His ADP on Yahoo Mock Draft is at 134 last time I checked. Last season he finished 78th according to BasketballMonster. 59th on Yahoo.
I think most of us who've followed him are in agreement that he can only get better from here on out and his #'s will definitely get better. The only question we're asking is 'how good'?
Here's the thing. Pop is really high on this kid and he's the kind of coach that rarely compliments his players. Here's what Pop said during summer league and some of the things he did. http://blog.mysanant...rd-this-summer/
“We want him to rebound it and push it up the floor himself,” Popovich said. “We want to get it thrown ahead to him and have him go attack the rim. We want to put him in pick-and-rolls and let him make decisions, so he expands his game. “He’s going to be a good one. We don’t want him to just be a spot-up shooter in the corner.” That’s good to hear, Leonard said. “I don’t want to be a stand-in-the-corner guy my whole career,” he added. “I’d like to take control of the game, and be a focal point to help my team win.” During one breathless stretch of the first half Tuesday, Leonard unpacked his entire bag of tricks. He took his man off the dribble, from midcourt line to rim. He grabbed a rebound at one end and took the ball 90 feet for a finger roll at the other. When Leonard crossed over a pick late in the first half and rose to drill a contested 3-pointer near the top of the arc, even his summer-league teammates were impressed.
Kawhi's averages in summer league:
33mpg, 25ppg, 1-3ptm, 6rpg, 3apg, 1stl, 0.5blk, 47fg%, 73ft% = in 2 games then Pop pulls him out. Not because of injury.
Several weeks later, Pop does an interview and was asked about Kawhi Leonard and responded with this:
Question: What kind of season do you see Kawhi Leonard having next season? Also, where do you see him in five years? GP: I think he’s going to be a star. And as time goes on, he’ll be the face of the Spurs I think. At both ends of the court, he is really a special player. And what makes me be so confident about him is that he wants it so badly. He wants to be a good player, I mean a great player. He comes early, he stays late, and he’s coachable, he’s just like a sponge. When you consider he’s only had one year of college and no training camp yet, you can see that he’s going to be something else.
His ADP on Yahoo! is 134. That's in the 10th, 11th 12th rd depending how big the league is. I know Spurs players don't look like sexy picks in fantasy and Pop is notorious for sitting out his stars and that may sway some of the managers from drafting Kawhi Leonard but Kawhi is not in his 30's.
This kid is an absolute steal if most people think that he will provide late round value.
I drafted him in one league; but I have to say I am not entirely confident that he will produce. Where will the minutes come from? I'm hoping manu will have reduced minutes and given time at both sg/sf he will have 30 mins, but jackson is on the roster too.
His time to shine is close, but this year seems a bit too premature for me. That being said, he's one of the roto-friendliest players in the league and even with limited minutes, he can be a solid Top 100 pick.
I wouldn't worry too much about his minutes guys. He's much more than a role player. Here's some interesting stats from last season. He ranked 4th in most minutes p/g just behind Parker, Jefferson, and Duncan. He ranked 3rd in total minutes played. I know about Manu getting hurt and the Jefferson and S-Jax deals come into play but you can't keep this guy at 24mpg. Spurs were 2nd in most ppg in the league at almost 104. That just tells me there's enough ball for everyone. This may or may not be his breakout season but when is it going to be? He's the kind of player that gets better every season.
I can't sell this guy enough w/o sounding like, well, a salesman but I'm just gonna say don't sleep on this guy and don't wait around the 10th round before you draft him.
The big question will be if he can somehow get 29 or 30 mins per game. If so he can do that (big if) he should be able to do 12/13ppg with great %'s steals and blocks. He profiles a ton like Nic Batum from a fantasy prospective. I watched him a lot in the playoffs last year and i do absolutely believe in his talent. He has a very very bright future and is yet another coup in the larger series of stellar draft picks/acquisitions by the Spurs.
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his minutes will inch up from last season, and i suspect his role will grow by leaps and bounds...he is defensive intense player, who will add all sorts of hustle stats and his role in the offense should grow as well. he will be on as many of my teams as possible
Even if he only makes standard 2nd year gains this year I think he'll be a steal, even when drafted in a league with knowledgeable managers.
The average Fantasy Basketball player doesn't know about this guy though. I signed up for a random Yahoo 12 team H2H 9cat since all of my $$ Leagues don't draft till late October & I was getting antsy - I got Leonard with my 13th & final pick of the draft. Someone did take Rondo in the mid 1st round though too so take that with a grain of salt haha.
He profiles a ton like Nic Batum from a fantasy prospective.
That's a good comp.
Agree with everyone here. He's more attractive longterm. Just think his value is a little capped being the 3rd or 4th option on most nights. In just his 2nd season I would temper expectations a bit, until guys like Duncan and Gino are turned over.
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The Spurs roster has changed very little, with the exception that the old have gotten older meaning he could get more mins just by virtue of Pops' love of resting his vets. I also agree with most of the above; I would be reticent to draft him too early and I would prefer him in a roto league than an h2h league. If you can get him late definitely do so, he should post solid but unspectacular numbers unless ginobili gets injured. You never know, he could truly emerge sooner than later but it seems the more unlikely scenario.