Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard is not a member of Portland’s 2017 NBA Summer League team currently active in Las Vegas, but he’s still working on improving his game during the long summer months. Recently Leonard spoke with Jason Quick of CSNNW about his off-season training program and his expectations for the upcoming year.
The first question in any discussion involving Leonard is health. In his five-year career, he’s averaged only 60 games per season, largely due to injuries. Quick’s article addresses this matter up front.
“I’m confident where I’m at in my progression this summer. And, I feel healthy. I feel as good as I have in five years.”
Leonard is working with noted NBA trainer Drew Hanlen on his shooting this summer, exploring a different stance that they hope will translate into a quicker release.
“There have been a lot of little, intricate things Drew has pointed out that helps me build a better shot routine. Hopefully that transitions into games to where I just feel really good with what I’m doing and how I’m doing it.’’
With the Blazers selecting Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan in June, two players that share his position, Leonard understands the competition for playing time will be fierce.
“I understand we took two bigs. It is what it is. That’s competition. That’s just the way it is. The NBA in itself is a business. It’s my job now to come back to Portland at the end of the summer and show what I’ve done.’’
Quick’s article explores more aspects of Leonard’s developmental process, including his quest for confidence and quotes from Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts about his evolution.
Leonard averaged 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds last season. Those numbers were in line with his career averages of 5.7 points and 3.9 rebounds. Leonard was selected with the eleventh overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He is entering the second year of a four year, $41 million contract.