Meyers Leonard has a future with the Portland Trail Blazers for one reason in particular: he can shoot the ball very, very well.
Leonard proved that as a freshman with the Trail Blazers. He’s 7-foot-1, 245 pounds, but he shot remarkably well for a big man. He made 54.5 percent of his field, which isn’t bad, but perhaps not overly impressive, considering his height. But he shot 42.9 percent in triples, which is incredible for his height. He was 80.9 percent from the foul line, which is also solid for a big man.
Leonard should be giving shooting lessons to other players in the league. What he did in shooting was impressive.
But the Blazers were careful with his time. He saw action in 69 games, had nine starts and averaged 5.5 points and 3.7 points per game and 17.5 minutes. Next NBA season, the Blazers should considering starting assignments for Leonard. They should get his minutes in the high 20s.
Leonard started seeing more minutes late in the season for Portland, and he responded very well. He saw 41 minutes in late March against the Golden State Warriors, on the road and had 22 points with 9-of-10 shooting from the floor 1-of-1 in threes, 3-of-3 from the free -throw line and 22 points. He also had 10 rebounds and a block. It was a total performance.
That performance was against a playoff team on the road. It showed that Leonard can play in this league and is really to take on a big role. Leonard is ready for the Trail Blazers, especially next year. But are the Trail Blazers ready for him?