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Archive → April, 2011

Clearing up a few dates relating to the Pistons’ sale, trades and free agency

Chris Iott of MLive wrote today about the Pistons’ sale would affect their offseason, and I wanted to clear up a few discrepancies about timing.

The Pistons cannot sign free agents or trade players right now

The ownership change will be official in the next 30 days or so. As long as it is completed before the end of the postseason, it will not hurt the Pistons when it comes to potential trades or moves in free agency.

The Pistons can trade players with any team that has also completed its season, according to Larry Coon’s FAQ. So, if Joe Dumars’ hands are still tied until the NBA approves the sale, the Pistons could be missing trade possibilities.

Dumars usually holds a news conference a few days after the season ends to review the season and discuss plans for the summer. That news conference has not taken place, and has not been scheduled for the near future.

The Pistons season ended April 14 last year, and Dumars held his press conference May 25. In previous years, Dumars’ press conference came closer to the Pistons’ final game, but they also made the playoffs those years. That obviously leaves a shorter window between the end of the season and the draft, when Dumars would meet with the media.

There will be a small window for trades and free agency thanks to a likely lockout July 1. The days between the end of the NBA finals and the end of the current collective bargaining agreement could be full of activity for Dumars and the Pistons.

Under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, players with expiring contracts become free agents July 1, and they can sign July 8. Considering the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires June 30, free agency won’t begin until the players and owners reach a new deal.

Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: DeAndre Liggins

Currently, DraftExpress projects Kentucky swingman DeAndre Liggins to go with the 25th pick in the second round. The Pistons have the 22nd pick in the second round. I hope they seriously consider Liggins if he’s available. That might seem weird considering the Pistons are crowded on the perimeter, but there are several reasons I would be excited to see him in Detroit.


Measurables: 6-foot-6, 210 pounds, junior G/F from Kentucky

Key stats: 8.6 points, 2.5 assists, 1.2 steals per game while shooting 42 percent from the field and 39 percent from three

Projected: Second round

How would he help the Pistons?

Liggins is one of the most versatile players in this draft. He played both wing spots for Kentucky and even had some ability to slide over and play the point if needed. He was always in a supporting role in college simply because Kentucky has had a parade of stars the last two seasons under John Calipari. Liggins himself was a highly rated high school prospect. But don’t let the numbers fool you: his best attribute was his ability to become a complimentary player in college.

Liggins is a potential lockdown perimeter defender in the NBA. He has a strong build and at 6-6, he has the size to bother players at any perimeter position. At Kentucky, he defended all three positions for the Wildcats. He also developed a reliable 3-point shot, knocking down 39 percent of his attempts as a junior.

With two second round picks, a looming lockout that could eliminate the Summer League and an already crowded roster, there’s a good chance whoever the Pistons take with their second second round pick will struggle to make the team. I’d much rather see them take a chance on a player like Liggins who has proven to be coachable and tough. He didn’t have as good a college career as Arron Afflalo, but his defense and versatility remind me a bit of Afflalo when the Pistons drafted him a few years ago. I don’t think Liggins will be a star in the NBA. I don’t know that he’ll even be a starting caliber player. But he seems to have the work ethic, physical tools and intelligence to carve out a very serviceable NBA career filling a variety of roles for a team off the bench. The Pistons need more smart, tough players on their roster and the handful of times I watched Liggins this season, those were the things that stuck out to me.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

The numbers game I touched on above is the main thing working against Liggins. It’s going to be hard for anyone the Pistons take with that pick to make the roster, let alone a perimeter guy. The Pistons might be better served using that pick on a project foreign player who wants to stay overseas for a season or two.

What are others saying?

From Hoops World:

If you are looking for offensive productivity, DeAndre Liggins isn’t the guy for you.  However, if you are looking a tough-as-nails defender with the ability to lock-down players at the point guard, shooting guard and small forward positions, the junior out of Kentucky is a perfect fit.

From ESPN:

Liggins may not look like much on the offensive end. As a junior he averaged just 8.6 ppg. But he’s an exceptional defender who can guard multiple positions, so some team might want him in the second round. Most likely he goes undrafted if he stays in the draft.

From USA Today:

Liggins, a 6-foot-6 junior guard from Chicago, served as the Wildcats’ defensive stopper this season, consistently drawing the assignment of guarding the opposing team’s top offensive threat.


Pistons aren’t close to winning 60 games

I know, right? Check back tomorrow for the following posts: “Kevin Durant should be paid more than John Salmons,” “Kevin Love is a better rebounder than Andrea Bargnani,” and “Ten reasons the Bobcats won’t win the 2011 NBA title.”

But Keith Langlois of Pistons.com – although he never explicitly said the Pistons would, or even could, win 60 games next season – wrote an article that seems to imply it’s reasonable.

How wide is the gulf between 30- and 60-win teams in today’s NBA? Maybe not as pronounced as conventional wisdom suggests.

I think I’ll stick with conventional wisdom on this one.

Langlois explains:

Chicago got to 62 wins this season despite playing large chunks of the schedule without either Joakim Noah or Carlos Boozer. Indiana won 25 fewer games to earn the East’s No. 8 seed. The Bulls are almost certain to win their first-round playoff series after taking a 3-0 lead, but the Pacers could just as easily be up 3-1 instead of down by that count heading to Tuesday’s Game 5.

No, the Pacers couldn’t just as easily be up 3-1. They haven’t played nearly as well as the Bulls have. Chicago is the better team and that’s why it leads the series. It’s not that complicated.

Also, I’m not really sure how Indiana, which won 37 games, counts as a 30-win team in this context. There’s a big difference between 30-win teams like the Pistons and 37-win teams like Indiana. And even then, the gap is huge between that and 60 wins.

Using Langlois’ seven-game wiggle, since the NBA expanded to 82-game seasons, teams that won between 23 and 37 games have an 11-46 record in the playoffs against teams that won between 53 and 67 games. In fact, 23-to-37-win teams haven’t won any series against 53-to-67-win teams and have been swept as many times as they’ve won at least a game.

Langlois continues:

And even the most pessimistic Pistons fan would concede it’s not a stretch to believe the Pistons could finish ahead of Indiana in next year’s standings.

Step one: pass the Pacers.

Step two: win 60 games.

It’s that easy.

Obviously, that’s not exactly what Langlois is saying, but the implication that 60 wins is just a hop (Pistons), skip (Pacers) and a jump (Bulls) away doesn’t sit well with me. Quite a bit separates each of those three teams.

Langlois lays out six individualized hopes for next season and says:

Give them one or two of the following ingredients and they’ll be a playoff qualifier. Give them three or four on the list and they’ll be next year’s turnaround success. Give them the clean sweep and all bets are off.

I agree these ingredients, which I’ll examine one by one, would help the Pistons greatly. I just don’t see them as likely enough to discuss seriously. If the gulf between 30 wins and 60 wins isn’t as wide as I think, there better be more reasonable ways to bridge it than the following six steps:

Greg Monroe continues to improve at the same rate he did this season

A Monroe that averages 15-18 points and 10-12 rebounds a game isn’t that far from reality.

If Greg Monroe hits those averages next year, he’d be the youngest player ever to do so. It’s possible, but it’s a long way from reality.

I also think it’s unreasonable to expect Monroe will improve at the same rate. The better a player gets,the more his rate of return on improvement diminishes. There’s just less to learn.

Although it’s not a perfect measure, here’s a rough idea. Monroe posted 6.6 win shares this year. Since 1980, 19 other players had between six and seven win shares as a rookie.* They averaged 6.3 win shares in their first year. In their second year? 6.4.

*Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Luis Scola, Andre Iguodala , Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony , Amar’e Stoudemire , Steve Francis, Wally Szczerbiak, Kerry Kittles , Dean Garrett, Joe Smith, Michael Finley , Brad Daugherty , Ralph Sampson , Clark Kellogg , Larry Smith, Reggie King, Dave Greenwood

Outside of Steve Francis, who exploded in his second year for 12.2 win shares, Luis Scola (8.6 win shares his second season), Marc Gasol (8.4), Kerry Kittles (8.4) and Reggie King (8.3) are the non-outlying examples of high-end second-year improvement. Those latter four probably represent a realistic best-case scenario for Monroe next season. For perspective, that’s about Tony Parker-level production.

I think Monroe could improve a lot, still. There’s so much of his game left to uncover, so I could definitely see him making a best-case jump.

If Monroe plays as well as Tony Parker next season, that would be great. But that’s practically the best-case scenario, and it’s not nearly as good as 15-18 and 10-12.

Pistons draft an impact player

But as Monroe proved last year, you don’t have to draw into the top three to find a player who radically alters the makeup of the roster.

The Pistons have a 9.2 percent chance of landing a top-two pick, and in this draft, their odds of drafting someone who can make an immediate impact isn’t much higher. Outside of Kyrie and Derrick Williams, the field is pretty thin at the top.

Just because the Pistons picked Greg Monroe at No. 7 last year doesn’t mean they can or will find value like that this year.

Jonas Jerebko returns and takes  the next step

But he gave strong hints that he had much more in him offensively than what he exhibited as a rookie, and with added strength that was the byproduct of sitting out a season – Jerebko is up to 240 after a year spent under Arnie Kander’s watchful eye – he should come back with even greater versatility.

Last season, Jonas Jerebko stood out because he provided, by far, the most hustle and grit on a lousy team. What he does is important, but players of that ilk don’t often become polished all-around players. That’s why I expressed doubt about Jerebko’s offseason plan of working on his ball-handling and mid-range jumper.

After he sat out for a year, I’d be happy if Jerebko matches his rookie-year production. After that, we can worry about an expanded offensive role.

Jerebko at 240 pounds intrigues me, though.

Ben Gordon plays like he did with the Bulls

There is no logical explanation for why Gordon’s production has declined sharply from the player who was a model of consistency in his first five years in the NBA.

I have a longer post on this planned, so I won’t go too deep into it here, but players whose production has fallen as much as Ben Gordon’s rarely revert to their previous level.

Before this season, I predicted Gordon would bounce back. Basically, I didn’t see any logical reason, besides injury, to explain Gordon’s 2009-10 struggles. When something so abnormal happens, it’s logical to predict a regression to the mean, which in Gordon’s case was very good basketball.

But I’m afraid his mean has changed to tentative and subpar basketball. With two years of playing like that, Gordon has established a new baseline for himself.

The question before was, why won’t Gordon bounce back? I couldn’t find an answer.

Now it’s become, why will Gordon bounce back? Again, I don’t see an answer.

Rodney Stuckey plays as well he did late in the season

The last five games for Stuckey were pretty much what the Pistons envisioned for him all along, from his rookie season as understudy to both Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton.

He averaged 25 points and nine assists, made over half his field-goal tries and got to the line almost 10 times a game. No one will count on that level of production over 82 games – he’d be solidly in the MVP discussion if he did – but if he scores 18 to 20 with seven or eight assists, shoots 45 percent and plays with the aggressiveness that gets him to the line frequently without becoming turnover prone, he’ll be every bit the point guard the Pistons need.

At least Langlois didn’t cling to the numbers Stuckey actually put up in his last five games, but 18-20 and 7-8 on 45 percent shooting is probably unrealistic. That’s basically Russell Westbrook.

I usually back up my arguments better than this, but I don’t think we’ll have much disagreement here. Just watch a Thunder playoff game and decide whether you legitimately believe Stuckey will play like Westbrook next season.

Austin Daye earns the starting position and improves as much as he did in the last year

Austin Daye wins the starting small forward job and improves as much in year three as he did in year two.

I don’t really need to explain why the Pistons can’t count on this happening. Langlois already does it for me.

But it’s a big leap from where he’s at to 30 minutes a night and consistent production.

It’s a big leap, indeed.

Not like going from 30 wins to 60 wins, though. That’s nothing.

How old is Bismack Biyombo? A doctor explains how accurately the wrist test could determine Biyombo’s age

How old is the hottest prospect in the NBA Draft, Bismack Biyombo?

David Aldridge took a stab at answering the question that could make the difference between Biyombo getting picked in the top-five and in the second round:

Biyombo says he’s 18, but as Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen wrote over the weekend, NBA scouts and executives aren’t 100 percent sure, and Biyombo wouldn’t talk about it when asked.

"Question of the week here!," a team scouting director texted Sunday night. "No way to know for sure. I’m guessing he’s 21 or 22."

If that’s the case, it won’t be a big deal and Biyombo will go in the first round for sure. But an Eastern Conference GM said he heard rumors that Biyombo was anywhere from 23 to 26, which would obviously be a much different deal.

Jonathan Givony of Draft Express followed Aldridge’s reporting with more of his own:

Our research has revealed some slightly different information. Coaches who have worked with Biyombo earlier in his career while he was still in Congo think he’s “no older than 20 at most,” while Biyombo’s agent, Igor Crespo, has evidence that proves Biyombo is even younger.

Crespo says he took Biyombo to a specialist to conduct a bone age study immediately upon his arrival in Spain (Biyombo was reportedly 16). The study, as explained here involves taking x-rays of an adolescent’s wrist and hand to see if his growth plates are still open. Because the cartilage in Biyombo’s hand hadn’t fused at that point, the specialist came to the conclusion that he could be 16 or 17 at most, but not 18, when growth plates are expected to be closed.

This obviously rules out the possibility of Biyombo being five to eight years older than he’s listed, as the wild speculation we’ve seen recently on the Internet indicates. Crespo says he will willingly share these x-rays with any NBA team that requests them. One team we spoke with has already begun to evaluate the x-rays.

Doctor explains Bismack Biyombo’s age-determining wrist test

I talked to Dr. Ben Wedro, whom you might remember from his explanation of DeJuan Blair’s lack of ACLs, about how Biyombo’s alleged wrist test works. Wedro – read his blog and follow him on Twitter – said:

Bones in the body calcify at times. There are age ranges when bones in the body can be seen on x-ray. Similarly, there are age ranges when growth plates close. There are a variety of radiology textbooks that are used as reference guides to compare a patient’s x-ray with the book’s “norm”.

Aside from your situation, bone age is useful in determining when a patient enters puberty, perhaps trying to determine ultimate height and how much time there is left for a patient to grow.

The wrist is useful because there are many bones present that calcify at different and predictable times. However, once all the bones have developed and the growth plates closed, the concept of bone age is no longer useful.

There are some blood tests available that can help forensic pathologists try to roughly determine a patient’s age but it is only accurate to nine years  plus or minus.

That blood test obviously wouldn’t help here, so it looks like the wrist test is the best bet. I followed up with Wedro, asking his opinion of the test and whether there was a way to determine the x-ray showed Biyombo’s wrist, not someone else’s. I don’t know who’s seen the x-ray in the last two years, but I’d guess his professional teams have. So, it might not be too difficult to verify NBA teams are receiving the same x-ray taken that was taken two years ago. But how accurate is the test, and what if Crespo used a younger wrist-double in the first place? Wedro:

The wrist x ray would be reasonable accurate in estimating age.

The second question is harder. First, for what reason was an x ray taken two years ago? Was it for an injury or for another reason. Second, in most developed countries. A paper trail would be present that would link the patient to an x ray and its report. I do not know whether record keeping would be as precise as what we would expect to be normal in North America.

I explained that the x-ray was taken to determine his age, not because of an injury. With millions of dollars at stake, it wouldn’t shock me to hear Crespo used someone younger to imitate Biyombo. Wedro:

Unless there was something distinctive about one of the bones, like if there was a previous break that healed poorly, it might be difficult to make a definitive statement.

In the US, the paper trail might include a physician order, a radiology reading report, a bill for the services and they all would have identifying information like a name, birthdate, medical record number, address, etc.

So, unless Biyombo has a distinctive mark on his bones, which might cause a whole new set of issues, this probably comes down to how much you trust Spanish medical records, Crespo and Biyombo.

Jonas Jerebko eligible for next year’s Rookie-Sophomore game

Keith Langlois of Pistons.com had this interesting nugget in his mailbag yesterday:

Jeremy (Kelowna, British Columbia): I know when a rookie doesn’t touch the floor in his first season, he is still considered a rookie in the next season, as Blake Griffin was this year. Does the same apply for players going into their second year, like Jonas Jerebko? Is he still eligible to play in the Rookie-Sophomore game next year?

Langlois: I asked Tim Frank of NBA offices in New York and he said that if a player appears in one game, it’s considered a season of experience. Since Jerebko didn’t play in even one game, he will be considered a second-year player next season. So, yes, technically, he could play in the Rookie-Soph game. But unless that fact is made well known to NBA assistant coaches – the ones who do the voting for spots – they might not have him in mind when they go to fill out their ballots.

The Big Answer?: Greg Monroe

DF then: Can he play up-tempo?

When I analyzed Greg Monroe after the draft, I saw a pure half-court player. It seemed all his skills were best utilized in a slower tempo. But he got up and down the court well, with or without the ball, during summer league.

If he can play fast, the Pistons might have two excellent pieces in Greg Monroe and Rodney Stuckey going forward. If he can’t, they might have to choose one.

DF now: I still don’t know

He didn’t have much opportunity to do so. If Detroit sheds Richard Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince and Ben Wallace and re-signs Rodney Stuckey, maybe we’ll find out next season.

If the Pistons follow that plan, they better hope Monroe can. Otherwise, a Stuckey-Monroe pairing probably wouldn’t last long.

PH then: Will he play?

Last year’s first round pick, Austin Daye, rarely saw the court because his strengths are undoubtedly on offense and his weaknesses are more obvious at the defensive end. This year’s first round pick, Monroe, could be described similarly.

The assumption is Monroe will have to play some simply because the team is thin up front. I don’t think that’s necessarily the case — if he doesn’t show that he’ll battle defensively, it’s conceivable he could lose minutes to the Ben Wallace-Jason Maxiell-Charlie Villanueva group (assuming Charlie V. is more focused defensively this year). I hope it plays out differently, but it’s rare a Pistons rookie earns big minutes his first season.

PH now: Yes he will

After two DNP-CDs to open the season, it looked like Monroe would experience a repeat of what happened with Daye last season – being glued to the bench in favor of limited veterans.

Instead, Monroe took the advice of coaches, focused on defense and rebounding, earned minutes and then continued to earn more by – surprise – working hard and playing the role he was asked to play. Monroe was no worse than the third best rookie in the league this season. He was an absolute steal in the draft, and he was the single-most exciting thing about this Pistons season.

Ben Gordon, not John Kuester or others, deserves most blame for his sour season

In a recent column, Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News spread around the blame for Ben Gordon’s struggles this season. A little for Richard Hamilton’s presence. Some for circumstance. A lot for John Kuester. But in this whole process, Goodwill largely ignores whom I think should be the main recipient of consternation:

Ben Gordon.

To me, Gordon looked unconfident, like a player who still hasn’t regained his touch after the first major injury of his career. He was tentative, passing up shots he used to let fly without the slightest hesitation – and I’m talking about good shots, too.

Gordon had 14.7 scoring attempts per game* this season – easily a career low.

*FGA + .44*FTA, adjusted to a pace of 91.8, approximately the average of Gordon’s teams.

Gordon wasn’t playing in a perfect situation this season, far from it. But he should never be so reluctant to shoot. That’s ultimately on him.

At least, that’s how I see it. Goodwill disagrees, and I’ll respond to a few of his points.

Goodwill’s arguments deconstructed

Remember, he was on his way to a historic 50-40-90 season, which has only happened a handful of times in NBA history.

To shoot that percentage from the field, 3-point line and free-throw line respectively should have made him a valued weapon for a team that struggled to score.

First of all, 50-40-90 seasons aren’t quite as rare as Goodwill said. But they’re still extremely impressive, and it would have been great had Gordon reached that level. Except he didn’t.

Gordon’s numbers for this season – 44-40-85 – are good, but it’s not like he just missed a 50-40-90 year. Of course, that’s not exactly what Goodwill said. Goodwill said Gordon “on his way” to a 50-40-90 season.

Yes, through Dec. 1, Gordon was meeting all three marks, posting a 50-44-91. But I don’t think 19 games is a large enough sample to declare Gordon was “on his way” to sustaining those numbers all year. It was unlikely Gordon, whose career high is a 45.5 field-goal percentage, would come close to holding that level of production. And obviously, he didn’t.

Here’s a chart showing how Gordon’s percentages compared to the 50-40-90 standards, which are marked by horizontal lines, as his season progressed.

Field-goal percentage is blue. 3-point percentage is red. Free-throw percentage is black.

Also, the Pistons didn’t struggle to score – at least relative to how much they struggled to do other things. They ranked 14th in offensive rating.

When Kuester was giving Hamilton every opportunity to improve upon his early season play, Gordon was pulled during times he should’ve stayed in. When Hamilton missed a late December game due to stomach flu, Gordon scored 32 against the Hornets at the Palace, including a 3-pointer that sent the game to overtime.

Gordon scored 25, not 32, points that game. Gordon did score 32 points in another game this season (Oct. 29 against the Thunder) – a contest in which Hamilton played 27 minutes.

Regardless, it’s a bit silly to draw any major conclusions from a single game. Looking at the big picture, Gordon’s shooting didn’t change much when Hamilton missed games. In fact, Gordon’s true shooting percentage was slightly higher in games when Hamilton played (55.2) than games when Hamilton didn’t play (54.5). The biggest change came in Gordon’s scoring attempts per 36 minutes, which dropped from 16.6 per 36 minutes without Hamilton to 12.8 with him.

In those games when Hamilton also played, Gordon played 83 percent of his minutes without Hamilton. So, it’s not like he often had to contend with Hamilton for shots while on the court. Should the presence of Hamilton sitting on the bench sweating have distracted him more than the presence of Hamilton on the bench in a warmup or street clothes did?

Gordon felt like Kuester didn’t use him properly, and the plays that were run for him were more tailored to Hamilton.

It seemed no one could remember what made Gordon such a lethal weapon in Chicago: Isolations and just letting Gordon figure out if he had it going that night.

Gordon certainly understands basketball much better than I do, but this isn’t how I saw the offense unfold. Hamilton doesn’t come off as many screens as he used to, opting for more isolation than in the past. So, if the Detroit had the same plays for both shooting guards, they were fairly tailored to Gordon.

Also, since when is it a good idea to let Gordon shoot a lot to figure out whether he “had it going that night”? As I wrote before the season, Gordon had a tendency to shoot too much, regardless of how he was shooting. The Bulls were 24-35 (.407) when Gordon took at least 20 shots and 183-156 (.540) otherwise.

Ben Gordon entering next season and beyond

I think Goodwill raises some good points, especially about Scott Skiles’ structure appealing to Gordon. A new coach can only help the guard next season.

But if Gordon bounces back next year, first and foremost, that will be on him. Just like this year.

Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Jon Leuer

Although this year’s draft lacks star power, it has an abundance of guys who were really good college players who have the ability to become really solid role players at the NBA level. Wisconsin’s Jon Leuer isn’t going to be a go-to scorer like he was in college, but he does enough things to be an OK rotation big man at some point in his career.


Measurables: 6-foot-10, 228 pounds, senior PF from Wisconsin

Key stats: 18.3 points, 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 47 percent from the field and 37 percent from three

Projected: Second round

How would he help the Pistons?

Playing in Bo Ryan’s system, Leuer is well-schooled in half-court basketball. Like most Wisconsin big men, he scored with his back to the basket and could also shoot the ball from distance.

The best thing about Leuer’s college career was that he showed drastic improvement. His scoring and rebounding numbers went up each season and his role in the offense increased because he continually added new post moves to compliment his ability to shoot. Leuer will play a bit like a stretch four in the NBA, but he’s not that athletic, so he wouldn’t have the same diversity to his offense that Charlie Villanueva does. Leuer, at his best, would be more like a poor man’s Channing Frye or Ryan Anderson. It doesn’t necessarily fill a need for the Pistons, but players who bring the skills that those guys have always find a spot on a NBA bench.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

Villanueva’s presence makes it unlikely the Pistons would take another perimeter-oriented big man. Leuer does have some post-up ability, which the Pistons need, but his lack of bulk makes it a question mark as to whether that part of his game will translate to the NBA. Much like fellow senior bigs JaJuan Johnson and Keith Benson, Leuer is looked at as an upperclassmen player whose body might not fill out much more while younger bigs in the draft might be still growing.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

Its unlikely Leuer will be a frequent post scorer in the NBA, as he lacks the lower body strength to consistently establish position. He’s not all that explosive and may struggle to get his shot over longer defenders, and doesn’t have a wide array of counter, all of which could leave him limited to fade-aways and tougher post shots in the NBA. However, he has enough in the way of post moves to take advantage when he does get a favorable matchup.

From ESPN:

There are a number of NBA teams who need stretch 4s in their offensive schemes, and as far as big-men shooters go, Leuer is one of the best in the draft. Despite playing in the Big Ten, Wisconsin always goes a bit under-scouted. Leuer and teammate Jordan Taylor are probably a bit underrated right now.

From NBADraft.net:

He possesses excellent footwork in the post, using an array of post moves that make him unpredictable with his back to the basket … He shows nice touch in the post, and looks comfortable turning and shooting in any direction … He has range up to 21 feet out, shooting 39% from downtown at the college level … His handle is better than average for a college forward/center, and he uses it to create open looks for himself in the post and on the perimeter … Has shown he’s aware of what’s available around him in terms of passing out of the post … Offensively he’s very efficient, shooting 52% from the floor while only turning it over once a game … Defensively Leuer has a high IQ, where he seems to position himself efficiently, illustrated by his (low) 2.1 fouls per game.

Hickory High’s Similarity Scores


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