|2011 NBA Draft||NBA||Drafted 15th overall by Indiana.|
|2011 NBA Draft||NBA||Draft rights traded by Indiana, along with the draft rights to Davis Bertans (#42) and Erazem Lorbek (#46, 2005), to San Antonio in exchange for George Hill.|
|9th December, 2011||NBA||Signed four year, $8,323,699 rookie scale contract with San Antonio. Included team options for 2013/14 and 2014/15.|
|26th October, 2012||NBA||San Antonio exercised 2013/14 team option.|
|19th December, 2012||D-League||Assigned by San Antonio to Austin Toros of the D-League|
|20th December, 2012||D-League||Recalled by San Antonio from Austin Toros of the D-League.|
|28th October, 2013||NBA||San Antonio exercised 2014/15 team option|
|16th July, 2015||NBA||Re-signed by San Antonio to a five year maximum value contract ($94,343,129). Included player option for 2019/20.|
|18th July, 2018||NBA||Traded by San Antonio, along with Danny Green, in exchange for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a 2019 first round pick.|
|2009 - 2011||San Diego State (NCAA)|
|June 2011 - July 2018||San Antonio Spurs (NBA)|
|July 2018 - present||Toronto Raptors (NBA)|
November 2, 2019
June 29, 2017
SF, 6’7, 230lbs, 25 years old, 6 years of experience
It is hard to think back to the time when Leonard came in to the league as an athletic, hustling, undersized power forward with little ball skills, when the player we see now plays like some weird yet beautiful mash-up of Jordan and Pippen. Leonard makes improvements to his game every year, big improvements, but perhaps none more so than this past one, when he became the primary ball-handler and playmaker, shooting up to a 31.1% usage rate. He didn’t even go above 27.6% in college. In becoming a half-court, dribble-driving, contact-taking star, Leonard has somehow not lost a shred of defence to do it. Rather than rounding out his game, he has transformed it. If he’s not the best player in the league, he nearly is, and while such distinctions matter only from a point of pride for the various parties involved, the fact that it is even possible here is stunning.
Player Plan: Three years and circa. $60.3 million remaining, with a player option in the final year. Impossibly good.
June 25, 2011
Pick 15: Indiana takes Kawhi Leonard from San Diego State, the discussion for whom is immediately focused on his hands. After his rather pernickety analysis of Tristan Thompson's feet earlier, Bilas is straight in there with a comment about the size of these hands, which admittedly are freaking enormous. It is the first clip in his montage, too, so magnetic are these things. When the NBA draft degenerates into a series of biological field notes and quick games of "Look at the weird thing!", that's when it truly shines.
It also shines when confronted by a high quality suit, and Leonard does not disappoint.
"You know, it means a lot. Just being at San Diego State, the coaching staff, coach Fisher, all my team mates, just helped me as well, and I thank God for putting me in this situation."
June 23, 2011
Kawhi Leonard - Leonard's best attribute is his physical profile. He measures out at 6'7, which is pretty average, yet he has a 7'3 wingspan with that, and hands the size of small digger scoops. This hand size is best demonstrated by this startling picture, in which Leonard's hand is held up next to that of Holly Mackenzie. It is possible that Kawhi has normal hands and that Holly is instead a legal midget, but I am assured this is not the case.
Leonard was blazing his way up the draft boards, but has started falling during the individual workout phase (a phase which seems to be valued far more highly than the simple fact of how players have played in every game of their career to date). He is the pound for pound best rebounder in the class, averaging 10.6 of those puppies in 32 minutes per game, further contributing 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.6 blocks and a healthy 15.5 points per game. Shot creation, finishing and indeed offensive in general is not a strong suit - he is neither a ball handler not a dribbler, more of a putback-er and an opportunity scorer-er. He is tough, aggressive, fearless and versatile defensively, his Mr Tickle-like arms being an incredibly difficult object to navigate around on the perimeter. Even if he never develops the ability to handle in traffic, or shoot off the dribble, or create anything out of the post, he won't need to to be effective.