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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Illinois C Meyers Leonard

Posted By Jon Lemons On June 15, 2012 @ 9:45 am In General | No Comments

As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics [1] own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins [2] trade) and 51.

MEYERS LEONARD

Position: Center

School: Illinois

Age: 20

Height: 7-foot-1

Weight: 250 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-Big Ten honorable mention (coaches, media)

Key 2011-12 stats: 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 73.2% FT

What he brings: At 7 feet tall, with a long wingspan and a developing frame that he should continue to fill out, Leonard is an athletic big man who runs the floor well and shows promise that he will become an above-average NBA center.

Leonard showed a decent — and improving — offensive touch in his sophomore season at Illinois in 2011-12 and is an imposing defensive presence with his length and tremendous quickness and mobility.

The knock on Leonard is that he’€™s very much a work in progress. Physically, his conditioning could improve and he is still working on his understanding and getting a feel for the game.

Where the Celtics could get him: Leonard’s stock has been rising and he is projected to be a late lottery pick, so the C’s would need to trade up to have a shot at him.

Notes: Leonard is arguably the second-best center prospect in the draft, behind UConn’€™s Andre Drummond, though UNC’€™s Tyler Zeller might get drafted ahead of Leonard. With four years of experience at the college level, Zeller is considered a much more NBA-ready player while Leonard is regarded as a two- or three-year project.

Recent articles:

The Big Lead: Meyers Leonard is now being strongly considered in the top 10 of the NBA draft [3]

Chicago Tribune: Leonard: ‘I’ve matured’ [4]

Michigan Live: Illinois 7-footer Meyers Leonard is considered raw project with tremendous potential [5]

Video: Here’s a nice package of Leonard highlights, mainly focusing on his passing and low-post ability.


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URL to article: http://greenstreet.weei.com/sports/boston/basketball/celtics/2012/06/15/nba-drafts-potential-celtics-illinois-c-meyers-leonard/

URLs in this post:

[1] Celtics: http://media.weei.com/basketball/boston-celtics.htm

[2] Kendrick Perkins: http://media.weei.com/basketball/kendrick-perkins.htm

[3] The Big Lead: Meyers Leonard is now being strongly considered in the top 10 of the NBA draft: http://thebiglead.com/index.php/2012/06/12/meyers-leonard-is-now-being-strongly-considered-in-the-top-10-of-the-nba-draft/

[4] Chicago Tribune: Leonard: ‘I’ve matured’: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-06-07/sports/ct-spt-0608-bits-nba-draft-camp--20120608_1_meyers-leonard-funny-bone-jae-crowder

[5] Michigan Live: Illinois 7-footer Meyers Leonard is considered raw project with tremendous potential: http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2012/06/nba_draft_2012_illinois_7-foot.html

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