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NBA Draft: Re-Drafting the Class of 2012

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10. Meyers Leonard (Originally picked at no.11)

March 2, 2013; Portland, OR, USA; Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard (11) disputes a foul to Minnesota Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved (1) by NBA referee Michael Smith (not pictured) in the second half at the Rose Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Meyers Leonard was drafted 11th overall, which was quite appropriate. He is still raw offensively, and the Portland Trail Blazers suffer on that end when Leonard is on the floor. When he is playing, the Blazers score 8.2 points less per 100 possessions.

Defensively, the stats are almost identical with Meyers on and off the floor.

The conclusion is simple – Leonard needs to develop an offensive game in order to be effective in the NBA. He should still have been a top 10 pick, because you can’t teach size and he is 7′ 1″. Leonard also runs the floor very well and is quite athletic, especially for his size.

Statistics this season: 4.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 56.5 FG%14.7 mpg

(Originally picked 10th overall: Austin Rivers, New Orleans Hornets)

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Topics: Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, NBA Draft, New Orleans Hornets, Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, Rookies, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards

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  • nich obert

    IMO Lillard over Davis is crazy. Lillard is sweet, but he has basically been inferior to Jordan Crawfords solid December- 19 points, 5 boards, 6 assists, 43% FG, 34% 3..that production over a month got Crawford traded for a guy who is basically retired. Lillard doing it for his first month in the league made him a ROY lock despite being significantly less efficient (and the Blazers being 3 points worse than opponents per 100 when he plays) the rest of the way.

    Davis started slow and has per36s of 16.5/10 with 2.2 blocks, 1.4 steals on 50% shooting and the Hornets- a losing team, mind you, have an offensive rating 7 points higher than their defensive rating when he’s out there.

    Throw in Vasquez inexplicably emerging as one of the best pure PGs in the league and I can’t think of a single reason Lillard would go over Davis on the Hornets board. How many teams take Lillard over Davis, honestly? 2? Maybe 3? I can see the Jazz doing it, and I can’t think of anyone else who would be more likely to than not. The Lakers if Dwight was healthy? Maybe?

    IMO it’s really a 3 man race between Davis, Lillard and Beal but one that Davis would have locked up if we weren’t inexplicably putting the most weight on the first quarter of the season. People say that isn’t the case, but it’s the only logical reason anyone would think Lillard was more valuable than Davis. Beal strikes me as the guy with the highest superstar potential, he has been insanely efficient since a slow start.

    • VytisRMC

      There is no doubt that Davis has been more efficient, and the top 2 could really go either way. Davis could still very well turn out to be the best player in the draft, but I just really like what I’ve seen from Lillard, and picking him first overall at this point could definitely be justified.

      Lillard’s numbers are very similar to what Derrick Rose put up across the board in his rookie season. Now, I’m not saying that Lillard can be as good as Rose – he is not as efficient as Rose was in his rookie year and he isn’t anywhere near the athlete D.Rose is. But you can’t argue that Lillard does have superstar potential and has proven to be very clutch.

      You could go either way, but I just like what I’ve seen from Lillard more.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • John

      I’m really sorry but… what?!?! Damian Lillard has been “inferior to Jordan Crawford in December?” Okay… When was the last time you saw a rookie with 19 ppg and 6.5 apg. Was it Kyrie Irving? Nope! How about John Wall? Not him! It’s gotta be Derrick Rose right? No… not even Derrick Rose (16 ppg and 5 apg_ compared to Lillard’s rookie season. The LAST person to average Lillard’s rookie stats was LeBron James.

      Kyrie Irving may have had a scoring boost this year, but he is a terrible floor-general, makes bad passes and gets more T.O.s than Lillard does with less minutes and less assists. Now let’s get this clear. Lillard had not had a backup PG for the entire 1st half of the season, so he was forced to play 38-40 mpg. That is why his PER is so low. Now that Eric Maynor has come in as Portland’s sixth man, it astounds me at how much he can perform in less minutes.

      And another thing… the fact that the Davis is playing as you said “a losing team” just goes to show how much impact he had on the team. Yes, Lillard and his Blazers aren’t making the playoffs, but unlike the Hornets, they were in the race, and in the winter were as high up as 6th seed. (i.e. Note that the Blazers have no bench)

      Now, concluding my giant contradicting essay, Lillard is STILL criticized by people like you who complain that Anthony Davis is still 20 years old while Lillard isn’t exactly fresh out of college. But Lillard has something no one else has in this draft class- Experience. Every rookie out of this year’s draft hit a rookie wall… yes even the Brow. Not Lillard, who as Shaq said, “This kid doesn’t play like a rookie. He is for sure a future All-Star, and a possibility of a Hall-of-Famer.” WOW! Hmm… I wonder why Shaq would say that.

      Saying that Vasquez is an “emerging pure point guard in the league” just shows you that you are a Hornets fan… (Note that I am not a Blazers fan, but a Warriors Fan), and your immense support of denial that your team had taken the No. 1 pick with Anthony Davis. I do understand he was a lock, and I’m sure he’s gonna have a great career (possibly with injuries), and I love his playing style. But with Lillard playing like rookie Derrick Rose on steroids, I just have show you that you are doubting and underestimating this guy.

      - John Stefen from KG News Corner

      • nich obert

        Im actually a Wizards fan, and I hate Kentucky.
        I said Lillard is good. There’s a difference between good and “would be drafted ahead of Anthony Davis”

        I’d take Kyrie over him. You can’t complain about your roster and act like Kyrie has anything.

        I’d takeWall over both of them.