Finally. Something more to go with in regards to the 2012 NBA Draft, in which the Pistons have the ninth overall pick June 28. There have been rumors, speculation and opinions floating around about who Detroit is interested in, but recent Leonard-related articles have expressed genuine interest from Detroit.
I've been big on Leonard in the past. And after reports surfaced that he impressed at workouts in Chicago, I became more of a supporter -- not to mention that I closely follow Big Ten basketball and watched Leonard every chance I had. The Pistons need a true center to complement Greg Monroe. And if they don't land a center, getting an athletic power forward like North Carolina's John Henson would be a sufficient alternate.
Leonard might be a project, a work in progress-type player who could take a couple years to fully develop. But he'd be worth the lottery selection considering his size, 7-feet, a hair taller with shoes on, and 240-245 pounds. He's not a bad rebounder, possesses accuracy at the free-throw line.
I wrote this about Leonard about two weeks ago:
He has a decent mid-range jump shot. That we know for sure. He was eighth in the Big Ten in 2011-12 with a true shooting percentage of .618. The true percentage calculates every shot, not just field goals. Simply put, Leonard made almost 62 percent of attempts, regardless of type. Part of Leonard's upside is the fact that he's a good free-throw shooter for a player his size, knocking down about 73 percent of shots from the stripe.
The fact that Dumars is considering a real center should bring a sigh of relief to Pistons followers, who are used to the team spending picks on wing players and guards, regardless of need, really.
Iowa State's Royce White has been a player to spark debate among Pistons fans. However, he's too risky at this point, at least in terms of being a top-10 pick. Henson could develop into a threatening power forward, maybe something similar to Serge Ibaka, who helped lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals.
No guards. A power forward would be sufficient, but not entirely necessary. A center, though, especially one like Leonard or North Carolina's Tyler Zeller, would be ideal.
Adam Biggers has followed the NBA for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Pistons. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.
- Sports & Recreation
- Detroit Pistons
- Meyers Leonard
- Joe Dumars