Apr 28, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs forwardKawhi Leonard
(2) is defended by Los Angeles Clippers forwardMatt Barnes
(22) in game five of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. The Spurs defeated the Clippers 111-107 to take a 3-2 lead. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kawhi Leonard is only 24-years old and it seems that he has everything. He just signed a five-year $94.3 million max contract with the Spurs. He won defensive player of the year last season. He was the finals MVP in 2014.
More from Air Alamo
- San Antonio Spurs: White’s return to form skyrockets Spurs potential
- San Antonio Spurs: Four trade partners to watch for as deadline nears
- Predicting Spurs’ week 9 results, featuring trap games abound
- San Antonio Spurs: Jakob Poeltl reasserting himself as a defensive force
- San Antonio Spurs: Trading for John Collins still a longshot for Spurs
One may ask, what is Leonard missing? He hasn’t been selected to an all-star game. That is correct, he has not made it, in case you thought there was a typo. Last season he averaged 16.5 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.3 steals. It appeared Leonard had a chance to make the game, but that went out the window when he missed 17 games in December and January.
There are many reasons to believe Leonard will be an all-star this season. The Spurs appear to be favorites in the Western Conference. Leonard will be the Spurs second option, with newly acquired LaMarcus Aldridge likely being their go-to-guy.
Leonard’s assists numbers will rise as he will have the ball in his hands a lot this season. It’s even possible that an average passer like Leonard can average in the range of four assists. His scoring should be in the range of 18-20 points and he will continue to grab around seven rebounds.
Everyone knows that Leonard will be a lockdown defender for the next 5-10 years. What makes Leonard an intriguing defender, is that he led the league in steals. Many lockdown defenders (Bruce Bowen, Raja Bell) in the past decade, failed to produce heavily in this area.
Leonard will evolve into the best two-way player in the league next season.