Portland Trail Blazers Aren't Relying Too Much On Meyers Leonard For Future

By John Raffel
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

One has to wonder what Meyers Leonard will be doing on NBA Draft Day, June 27.

The second-year  player might be paying full attention to what the Portland Trail Blazers plan to do with their No. 10 selection the first round.

Speculation is that the Trail Blazers will be going for a big guy in the middle to help their defensive and offensive needs underneath. That’s not meant to be a slap in the face to Leonard, but it should be a strong indication that Leonard is not the player Portland will be relying on for key contributions inside.

That doesn’t mean Leonard won’t be sticking around for Portland. He will most likely be one of the top three players from off the bench as a key No. 2 unit contributor. Leonard could, with a strong summer, improve his playing minutes. Late in the season he saw more action with the Trail Blazers as the team was having roster issues. His average minutes per game was 17.5 for the season, but he played 33 minutes in the second to the last contest of the season against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Leonard also earned nine starts during the season as the Trail Blazers roster thinned.

He averaged 5.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.6 blocks a game as a rookie and shot 54.5 percent from the floor along with 80.9 percent in free throws. Not bad for a 7-foot-1, 245-pound prospect.

But Leonard didn’t do anything to convince Portland officials he was their big guy for the future, and that’s why they’ll be looking for one in the draft.

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