USA TODAY Sports
One writer takes a look at Portland Trail Blazers rookie center Meyers Leonard's early production.
Joe Kaiser of ESPN's NBA Rumors site wonders whether Portland Trail Blazers rookie center Meyers Leonard's numbers should be cause for concern.
For being the tallest player drafted in 2012 and an underrated athlete who played two years at Illinois, Leonard hasn't had the impact as a rebounder or a shot-blocker some might have expected. Among the 69 players in the league regarded by ESPN as a "center" this season, the 7-foot-1 Leonard is tied for No. 50 in rebounds per 48 minutes (10.4) and is No. 35 in blocks per 48 minutes (2.4).
It's far too early to give up on Leonard, and he has battled injuries this season as many rookies do, but the concerning thing about this is that rebounding and shot-blocking were supposed to be two of his biggest strengths. He'll have to show improvement in those areas in the coming years to avoid becoming a career backup.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter