NBA Draft Rumors: Meyers Leonard Shooting Up Draft Boards

At this stage in the pre-draft process, one of the hottest names is Illinois center Meyers Leonard.

Leonard was under the radar for most of the season for an Illini team who had a head coach (Bruce Weber) that was fired for missing the NCAA Tournament. He has impressed NBA scouts with his "tremendous upside potential", as Hubie Brown would say.

A chiseled and athletic 7'1 250 center, Leonard has the type of frame and coordination that excites NBA front offices, and as one executive told the Philadelphia Inquirer, he may be moving up team's draft boards and into the lottery:

"No question about it," one executive said, speaking under condition of anonymity. "[Tyler] Zeller is better now because he's got more experience, having gone through four seasons at UNC. That makes a difference now. But Leonard is the better athlete and will ultimately be the better professional."

Leonard averaged 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and 1.9 blocks on 58% shooting as a sophomore. While few of his points came off traditional back-to-the-basket moves, he'd be an excellent pick-and-roll finisher for an NBA team with a solid point guard.

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