Kawhi Leonard Wallpaper

Waiver Watch: Drastic Improvements from Leonard

Kawhi Leonard WallpaperKawhi Leonard is continually forcing scouts to rewrite their book on him.

When he was being evaluated as a draft candidate in 2011, his true shooting percentage of 46.3 percent during his sophomore season at San Diego State ranked as the worst among the 17 wing prospects in the class.

On draft night, Leonard was initially projected to be a lottery selection, but fell all the way to 15th, largely because of the question marks surrounding his capability to score the ball. 

Five years later, Leonard has emerged as the most potent long range shooter in the league.

Saturday against Boston marked a relatively quiet night for the 6-foot-7 forward, as he posted 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals during a 108-105 home victory.

Leonard launched four shots from beyond the arc, connecting twice to maintain his league leading 3-point shooting percentage.

The 50 percent Leonard is shooting from beyond the arc is an 11.7 percent increase over his career average and 2.6 percent higher than any player qualified to among the league leaders.

Through the first 20 games of the season, Leonard has connected on 41-of-82 attempts from 3-point range, already matching the amount of 3-point field goals he converted during his rookie season.

Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard has connected on 41-of-82 attempts from 3-point range this season.
Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard is shooting a league-best 50 percent from 3-point range this year.

The Spurs were among the first teams to place a great deal of emphasis on the corner 3-point shot, one that Leonard has seemingly mastered this season.

From the left corner, he has converted 41.7 percent and from the right corner, he has been nearly unstoppable, connecting on 7-of-9 attempts.

The long range shooting of Leonard has enabled him to average a career-highs with 21.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists along with 1.9 steals per game. Leonard is shooting 50.5 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range and 86.3 percent at the foul line.

Leonard is one of just five players to make at least 10 appearances that is shooting at least 50 percent from the field, 45 percent from 3-point range and 85 percent at the foul line this season.

The 24-year-old forward ranks 20th in the league in converted 3-point shots and his accuracy is unmatched, a drastic improvement from the prospect that was considered to be the worst shooter at his position.

Center

Spencer HawesSpencer Hawes– Charlotte Hornets

Available in 99% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

The Hornets are starting to get the contributions from Hawes off the bench they expected when dealing for him this summer. Over the past three games, Hawes is averaging 10.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 made shots from 3-point range, even though he is playing less than 20 minutes a night. For each of the past two games, Charlotte has kept Hawes on the floor for over 20 minutes, marking the first time all season he has spent that much time on the court.

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Power Forward

Jerami GrantJerami Grant– Philadelphia 76ers

Available in 64% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

The 6-foot-8 forward out of Syracuse is providing solid fantasy production across the board. Grant is producing 10.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.3 assists and just under a steal per game. In each of his past six games, Grant has registered at least one block and one steal, highlighted by a four block effort against the Lakers Tuesday night, then a four steal performance Saturday against Denver.

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Small Forward

Doug McDermottDoug McDermott– Chicago Bulls

Available in 95% of Yahoo! fantasy Leagues

McDermott ranks second in 3-point shooting accuracy this season, connecting on 47.4 percent of his long range attempts. The 6-foot-8 forward out of Creighton has more than tripled his scoring average from a year ago and is quickly establishing himself as one of the most reliable shooters from beyond the arc. Along with his tremendous accuracy, McDermott is connecting 1.6 times from 3-point range each game and has been held without a conversion from downtown just three times in 17 appearances.

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Shooting Guard

Tyler JohnsonTyler Johnson– Miami Heat

Available in 97% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

Miami has been providing Johnson a steady amount of playing time behind Dwyane Wade and he capitalized Saturday night, matching a season-high with 19 points against Cleveland. The 6-foot-4 guard has been incredible accurate with his shot this season, converting 53.8 percent of his attempts and 48.3 percent of his 3-point shots. The second-year guard is averaging 9.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game.

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Point Guard

O.J. MayoO.J. Mayo– Milwaukee Bucks

Available in 94% of Yahoo! fantasy leagues

Milwaukee has been searching for an answer at the point guard position all season and the team turned to Mayo Saturday night against the Knicks. In his fifth consecutive start, the 28-year-old out of Southern California poured in 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field to go along with five assists, three rebounds, and a steal.

About Brendan Galella

Brendan Galella founded Shatter the Glass to make the NBA even more accessible to basketball fans. Composing player rankings, team evaluations and intriguing observations, he hopes to turn every reader into a dedicated and educated basketball follower.

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