The Lakers, the 2014 Draft, and the Kawhi Leonard Experience

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How did Kawhi Leonard do it?

He has the personality and competitiveness. That showed through with his interviews during the draft process.  He’s a quiet person, and Coach Popovich would argue he’s quieter than Tim Duncan.  While he is quiet, his play on the court speaks volumes.  At San Diego State, he ran the floor in a full sprint.  He provided tenacity on defense.  He outrebounded players bigger than him.  Drive can make or break a player.  The Spurs did a great job facilitating his drive with the right environment, and now his true talents show on the biggest stage.  His drive pushed him to work on his ball-handling and perimeter shooting skills.

That ‘tweener from the 2011 draft can now play small forward at the NBA level.

He has the physical tools.  While he is undersized at the power forward spot at just 6’6″ w/o shoes, he has among the largest hands in the league with a 7’3″ wingspan to boot.  His standing reach at 8’10″ is competitive against some of the NBA’s best at power forward.  It would be considered an elite measurement at small forward.

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Tags: Aaron Gordon Draft Kawhi Leonard Lakers Marcus Smart

  • thomas rickard

    Only time will tell, but can’t remember the first 10 looking so good, can’t imagine the Lakers trading their pick.

  • Jim213

    Good article but IMO Smart doesn’t have the mentality to be at the top of his position. That to me is a must plus don’t see him playing with the Lakers long term (if he was to be drafted). See it more as if he has the ability to handle the pressure like many of the top players but given last season’s play and actions on the floor this comes into question for myself IMO.

  • Daniel Bogarin

    Hope it’s Gordon, can defend the other teams best player no matter what position they play (possibly excluding the center position)… if he is able to knock down 70% of his free throws I can see him averaging 17 ppg, 6 rebounds, 5 assist, 2 steals, and 1 block per game………………………………………………………………..Also find a way to trade for Zach Lavine a project at the 2 guard but under the right guidance (kobe and nash) and under the right coach (hopefully scott) he can become a good starting shooting guard, once he raises some muscle and becomes better defensively I can see him starting once kobe is gone an avereging 18+ ppg, 4 dimes,3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block