2011 NBA Mock Draft: Is Kawhi Leonard the Next Ron Artest?
2011 NBA Mock Draft May Feature the Next Defensive Star in Kawhi Leonard
The 2011 NBA Draft is chalk full of unknowns and San Diego St.'s Kawhi Leonard certainly falls into that category.
He is one, if not the premier defender available because of his wide and bulky 6-8 frame. He is extremely aggressive with his hands and is constantly creating contact. Lenard will deal with foul trouble early in his NBA career because of it.
As the draft creeps closer, more-and-more scouts are sipping the Kawhi kool-aid. NBA.com columnist David Aldridge compares Leonard to a certain member of the LA Lakers:
Leonard, the burly sophomore from San Diego State, plays at the opposite end of the basketball pool from Hamilton. Leonard is all about defense, a defender with the strength and hands to be able to handle himself in the paint and in space -- and draw comparisons from at least one Eastern Conference executive to Ron Artest. Like Artest, the exec says, Leonard wasn't a great shooter in college. But he could get to be a little more consistent from the perimeter the same way Artest was for a good chunk of his pro career.
Offensively Leonard is still very raw. His jumper is a work-in-progress and he doesn't finish around the basket like you would like him to.
But the physical tools are there for him to be a dominates small forward on the defensive end of the floor and like Artest...the offense will eventually come.
If he can contain his aggressiveness and get himself an offensive game, Leonard will end up being one of the premier players to come out of the 2011 NBA Draft.
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