Following his breakout sophomore campaign—specifically his performance opposite LeBron James in the Finals—few NBA analysts aren't gushing over the potential of Kawhi Leonard.
He's been included on just about every list of rising stars, and rightfully so. Leonard has not only shown supreme talent in the early stages of his career, but his work ethic and veteran-like attitude have ensured a bright future for the rising small forward.
He made a large jump from his outstanding rookie season to his noteworthy sophomore one, but he'll make the ultimate leap in 2013-14.
After seeing Leonard not only hold his own, but succeed against the league's best player in the national spotlight, it's safe to say that he's ready.
Defensively, the San Diego State product is already a stud. Blessed with unprecedented arm length and hand size, Leonard's physical tools coupled with his overall tenacity has allowed him to lead the Spurs' perimeter defense despite his young age.
He's still improving offensively, though his series of double-doubles against the Heat was proof that, when needed, he can fill the stat sheet.
As Popovich continues to dole out opportunities for the younger prospects, Leonard will undoubtedly continue his development, transitioning from a standout role player to a fringe All-Star.