2011 NBA Mock Draft: Indiana Pacers Get More Athletic with Kawhi Leonard
Kawhi Leonard falls to the Indiana Pacers at No. 15 in the 2011 NBA Draft
The Pacers have enough scoring, but they are lacking in athleticism, defense and rebounding.
That's exactly what Kawhi Leonard's value in the NBA will be.
The rugged forward put up sensational numbers during his two seasons at San Diego State, using his springs to score around the rim and dominate on the glass, often against bigger players.
It won't be quite as easy at the next level.
ESPN Insider Chad Ford points out Leonard's weaknesses in the eyes of NBA scouts.
"Another player without a well-defined position. Ideally he'd be a few inches taller. He's not a great shooter yet. Can disappear sometimes in big games."
Ford is right on the money about lacking a clear position in the NBA. He is ideally suited to playing small forward, but his offensive game outside the 15-foot range is a work in progress to say the least.
Don't expect Leonard to be anything more than an opportunistic scorer at the next level until he improves his jump shot.
His raw talent alone will be enough to land him in the middle of the first round.
Pro Projection: In terms of size and athletic ability, he compares to former UNLV superstar and Charlotte Hornets' All-Star Larry Johnson.
All NBA fans who remember the Grandmama at his finest just uttered a collective gasp.
What separates Leonard from a player like Johnson, or say Charles Barkley, is his lack of strength and explosion.
Although he is a chiseled 225 pounds, Leonard tends to shy away from contact and use floaters instead of attacking the rim with reckless abandon.
In terms of raw upside, the Pacers could have a steal here at No. 15.
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