Kawhi Leonard was a huge part of San Diego State’s surge in 2010, as he had a helping hand in the Aztecs going 34-3, winning the Mountain West Conference tournament, and reaching the Sweet Sixteen before falling to eventual champion UConn.
With great size and versatility, Leonard has the makings of a high-energy player at the next level that can play great defense, while possessing the potential to become more of a complete player.
NBA Position: Small Forward
Weight: 225 lbs.
School: San Diego State
Leonard is a solid all-around player with great fundamentals. He is a tremendous rebounder for his size and position, using positioning very well, while generally flat-out out-hustling the opposition. His elite size and length makes him a solid defender, almost default, but his intensity is what puts him over the top in that department. Not an elite offensive player, but has an improving shot with increasing range, and can do some things one-on-one. Knows his role and has a good attitude and work ethic.
While not a slouch on offense, his offensive skills need work. Doesn’t have a reliable jumper yet. Decent handle for his position, but he can’t work a fast-break or break his man down consistently at the next level. Can be very quick and explosive at times, but not always a fluid athlete. Movements can be rigid and feel forced, usually on offense. While a great defender, his defensive awareness isn’t always on par with his intensity. Needs to practice better shot selection and the manner in which he attempts his shots. His release is elongated and awkward at times. Although fairly strong and tough on the perimeter, Leonard needs to get stronger inside, where he may be doing a good amount of work at the next level. Will be a junior next year, and could use another year to polish his offensive game.
NBA Player Comparison: Trevor Ariza
Draft Projection: First Round