Why 2012 Will Be Kawhi Leonard's Time to Shine in the NBA

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Why 2012 Will Be Kawhi Leonard's Time to Shine in the NBA
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Kawhi Leonard looks to be the centerpiece that keeps the Spurs among the elite in the West.

The San Antonio Spurs may be nearing the end of what many would argue is a dynasty.  The "Big Three" continue to age.  Yet there's still plenty of optimism in the Alamo about this year's team.  That's in large part due to the emergence of Kawhi Leonard, last year's 15th pick overall.

The Spurs thought they knew what they were getting when they traded George Hill to the Pacers for Leonard and the rights to Erazem Lorbek and the 42nd overall pick Davis Bertans.  They were getting a player with good length and a high motor who would help on the boards and the defensive end.

What they didn't expect was for Leonard to shoot 37.6 percent from three-point range and end up as the starting small forward by season's end.

Mike Monroe of Spurs Nation at mysanantonio.com reports:

When Leonard showed up for training camp in December with an NBA-ready jumper, the Spurs were amazed. On his own during the long lockout summer, he diligently had applied a few pre-lockout lessons from Spurs shooting coach Chip Engelland.

Ahead we're going to discuss several factors that should lead Kawhi Leonard to have a breakout campaign in 2012-13.

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