2011 NBA Mock Draft: Why Kawhi Leonard Isn't a Good Fit for Washington Wizards
When the lottery order became official on the night of the draft lottery, many mock drafts throughout the Internet went crazy with this consensus in the draft:
1. Cleveland, Kyrie Irving
2. Minnesota, Derrick Williams
3. Utah, Brandon Knight
4. Cleveland, Enes Kanter
5. Toronto, Kemba Walker
6. Washington, Kawhi Leonard
If the consensus is correct, then I believe that the Wizards will have many problems in the next couple of years. Many love Leonard because he has a great attitude and great work ethic, but despite that, he just doesn't fit well with the Wizards. Right now, the Wizards are in need of a three-point shooting threat (due to the possible departure of Nick Young) and an offensive post threat (due to Andray Blatche not wanting to keep himself in the paint).
Kawhi Leonard provides only one thing to the Wizards and that is rebounding, which I have to admit, is pretty darn good coming from a small forward.
One of the problems I have with this consensus is that many truly believe that he is the next Gerald Wallace. First of all, Wallace has established himself to be a pretty good shooter for the Trail Blazers and is far more athletic than Kawhi Leonard, who just posted a 32 inch vertical and three reps on the bench press.
Here are some interesting stats and comments on Kawhi Leonard's advanced stats from Mike Prada who runs Bullets Forever:
Two-point percentage: 47.8 percent. That's just dreadful. Some of it can be explained by increased usage—Leonard's rate went from 25.6 percent to 27.5 percent from his first to his second year—but no lottery pick should ever be that low without a good reason.
Wingspan/Reach: This is Leonard's biggest asset. His 7'3'' wingspan is freakish and his 8'10'' standing reach is very good too. He also has insanely big hands.
TS percentage: 51.2 percent. Again, that's dreadful for a top prospect. It was only 51.5 percent the year before, so this isn't simply a function of increased usage.
Defensive Rebound Rate: 26.6 percent, 13th in the country. That's phenomenal, but...
Three-point percentage: 29.1 percent.
Just look at those stats for a while and ask yourself, "Is this really the best fit for the Wizards?"
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