NBA Rookie Draft Ranking and Fantasy Outlook: Meyers Leonard

The Portland Trail Blazers selected center Meyers Leonard with the eleventh pick in the 2012 NBA draft.

Leonard’s career stats at Illinois:

65 Games, 7.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 56.7 FG%, 72.9 FT%

Fantasy Advice:  The most important quality Leonard possesses is his size, 7’1, 245 pounds with just 5.7% body fat.  He’s got a standing reach of 9’0 and a wingspan of 7’3.  He’s actually ended up in a situation in Portland where he can get some early minutes and work his way into a starting job.

On the human side, Leonard lost his father at a young age and was raised by his mother, who has some fairly serious health problems herself.  His only other close family is his older brother who’s done a couple tours of duty in Afghanistan with the Marines.  Leonard grew up poor in a small town and might have a pretty serious drive to succeed in the pros.

Even though he’s got size, he’s also got some mobility and quickness, as well as a pretty decent jumpshot and incredible leaping ability.  He’s got decent footwork which should provide a solid base to develop an offensive game.  His most valuable fantasy asset early should be his shotblocking ability.

Leonard is one of those guys that I watch the highlight videos and wonder how he could have fallen so far in the draft.  I think most of it might have simply been the fact that everyone else was looking for guard help rather than needing a center.  Leonard could be one of those special cases of a big man that develops a well rounded game, and possibly does it quickly.  I think he could be a decent draft day gamble and a must draft in keeper leagues.


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