On Jon Leuer and the NBA Draft

By Sam Zastrow

The NBA draft is Thursday, on former Wisconsin power forward Jon Leuer is likely to be the only Badger selected.

After Leuer’s dismal six point performance in last season’s NCAA Tournament regional semifinals, many thought he had played himself out of the draft entirely. However, with time and a few solid workouts, Leuer is back on the radar for many NBA teams just in time for the draft. He has surprised scouts with his athleticism (36.5″ vertical, 10.82 seconds in the lane agility drill) and strength (14 reps and 185 lbs in the bench press) at the NBA combine.

Most NBA experts believe Leuer will be an early to mid second round pick, but some believe he may sneak his way into the end of the first round. Here’s what others are saying about Leuer and his potential in the pros.

  • ESPN’s John Hollinger is high on Leuer, calling him a “sleeper.” He has Leuer ranked as the 14th best player in the draft and sixth best big man.
  • ESPN’s Chad Ford ranks Leuer as a sixth-tier player in the “first-round bubble” category. Ford also argues that Leuer’s athleticism and strength don’t show up in-game as much as they should.
  • CBS Sports has Leuer ranked as the 43rd best player in the draft and 16th best power forward.
  • Dave Heller reports Leuer has worked out for 17 teams.
  • NBA.com’s scouting report sums up Leuer’s strengths and weaknesses nicely:

Leuer has been discussed as a late first-round, early second-round pick. If he gets into a situation where he’s allowed to develop, Leuer will get stronger and ultimately become a matchup problem. He’s got guard skills, three-point range and at 6-10 the ability to shoot pull-up jump shots. He’ll have to adjust to the bigger, more physical opponents he’ll face in the NBA. Or, if he plays the 3 spot, he’ll have to be able to defend NBA-level speed and quickness. The question is, can he do that?

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