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  #1  
Old 05-24-12, 12:10 PM
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Kawhi Leonard #1 Breakout Player for 2013

Five breakout players for 2012-13
These guys should continue their playoff heroics next season
Updated: May 23, 2012, 1:10 PM ET
By Chris Palmer | ESPN The Magazine




The playoffs are an excellent proving ground to see what a player is truly capable of. Will he shrink? Will he adjust to the rigorous postseason style? Perhaps he may deliver a few surprises. The goal is to end the season on a strong note to build for the future. Here are five young playoff performers whose efforts in the postseason could carry over to next year and have them on the way to big things in 2012-13.

1. Kawhi Leonard, F, San Antonio Spurs

Early in the season Leonard operated in anonymity in the Spurs' clockwork offense, doing little things like boxing out, playing quality position defense and hitting the occasional deep 3-pointer off a Tony Parker kickout. But in the playoffs his versatility has really stood out. Against the Clippers he shot 50 percent from 3 and no small forward is averaging as many rebounds (4.9) in as few minutes (24.4). For a rookie his willingness to mix it up so aggressively underneath the boards in the playoffs is uncommon. His long arms and huge hands make him a constant threat on the glass and a hassle to shoot over defensively.

While still a bit raw (he's just 20) Leonard is developing into a dangerous shooter from several spots on the floor, especially the corner 3-pointer on which he's shooting an excellent 47 percent. He also has the potential to be an effective midrange shooter, which is essential for a small forward. Leonard would be well served to improve his ballhandling in the offseason so he can better use his shooting ability and get to the rim more frequently, which in turn will earn him more trips to the line. With Manu Ginobili's advanced age, he'll be called on to play a much bigger role next season.


Here is the link if you are an ESPN insider.
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Old 05-24-12, 12:27 PM
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There are signs that Kawhi could more than compensate for Manu's inevitable decline. Two entirely different guys, of course, but Kawhi is living up to every hope the scouting department could possibly have had about him.
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Old 05-24-12, 12:45 PM
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If KY can improve his mid-range and long range shooting, I see him as a Paul Pierce type. He's great around the basket and is a good rebounder. He's only going to get better and is future All Star in my opinion.
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Old 05-24-12, 01:56 PM
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A new "Paul Pierce" would be very welcome.

TP has at least 2-3 years left of his prime, and TD (while no longer up to his previous standards) could be a significant factor for another year or two. SJax will be off the books after next season, leaving SA the possibility to re-load.
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Old 05-24-12, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckennaspur1 View Post
A new "Paul Pierce" would be very welcome.

TP has at least 2-3 years left of his prime, and TD (while no longer up to his previous standards) could be a significant factor for another year or two. SJax will be off the books after next season, leaving SA the possibility to re-load.
Potentially, but after this season we need to worry about resigning or replacing Green, Neal, and Diaw.
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Old 05-24-12, 03:33 PM
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If we resign Green and Neal and Diaw (not sure if that's possible given the cap rules) then I have to think the Spurs are in pretty good shape with a young core of Leonard, Splitter, Tony (yeah I'll call him young), Green and Neal, add the experience of Diaw, Tim and Manu with Tim and Manu playing reduced minutes. Now it won't be an espn favorite (but not Spurs team ever is) they'll still be plenty good.
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Old 05-24-12, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MichaelWi101 View Post
If we resign Green and Neal and Diaw (not sure if that's possible given the cap rules) then I have to think the Spurs are in pretty good shape with a young core of Leonard, Splitter, Tony (yeah I'll call him young), Green and Neal, add the experience of Diaw, Tim and Manu with Tim and Manu playing reduced minutes. Now it won't be an espn favorite (but not Spurs team ever is) they'll still be plenty good.
Not sure that signing Green, Neal and Diaw are ABSOLUTE necessities. It would be great if they all came back, but at what cost? Keep the long view in mind.

First, I believe that Neal is already signed for next year. So, thankfully, that isn't an issue for this summer.

Diaw has been an extremely good fit on the floor, but what kind of contract will he demand? Spurs would be stretching to pay him the full MLE, and it wouldn't be surprising to see someone else offer him more. Would he leave money on the table to remain TP's lesser-paId roommate?

Green has been a terrific developmental success for SA, but he prospers because of the Spur system. There was a reason Cleveland let him go, and his skills can be replaced if he wants to move on for a bigger payday. What the Spurs would miss in losing him is his corporate knowledge and his willingness to buy Pop's overall strategy. How much is that worth in dollars and years?

A case could be made for Patty Mills as the most important off-season re-signing since the Spurs don't have a legit back-up for TP, and Joseph doesn't yet look ready.

Spurs will have decisions to make regarding Blair and Joseph as two players still operating on very reasonable contracts. Are they trade bait?

Looking forward, it seems to me that the Spurs are ABSOLUTELY committed to Tiago and Kawhi. Everyone else is up for discussion.
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Old 05-24-12, 08:00 PM
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I think we need to keep Mills also. He's shown skills and has an understanding of our offense. Plus, he's young. I think its an absolute steal that we got him. I'd like to think that Green also sees that his value is maximized because of the system (and trust) Pop has and stays. But if we wants the big payday, it'll be available to him.
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  #9  
Old 05-24-12, 08:03 PM
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But back on point. Kawhi's got the potential to be an All Star for sure.
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  #10  
Old 05-24-12, 08:39 PM
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off topic but we can use early bird rights to resign green.

Jeff McDonald ‏@JMcDonald_SAEN
So, use Early Bird to re-sign Green. Use part of the MLE to bring back Diaw. Boom. Roasted. Offseason figured out. Back to the playoffs.
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Old 05-24-12, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Joeriffic13 View Post
off topic but we can use early bird rights to resign green.

Jeff McDonald ‏@JMcDonald_SAEN
So, use Early Bird to re-sign Green. Use part of the MLE to bring back Diaw. Boom. Roasted. Offseason figured out. Back to the playoffs.
part of the MLE? well...if we win....i dunno if that'll be enough
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Old 05-25-12, 05:06 AM
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IF the Spurs win it all and Boris has a good series, the full MLE for 4 years is the lowest common denominator for his contract negotiation IMHO, already considering current team's discount. He might want to stay, but will not beg for his ticket here.
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Old 05-25-12, 09:46 AM
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Timmy, if you're listening! Take a 50% pay cut (how much money do you really need)and keep the whole team together. Could you imagine if this team had another year together.
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Old 05-25-12, 10:28 AM
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kawhi will only get better and is a keeper
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Old 05-25-12, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mckennaspur1 View Post
Not sure that signing Green, Neal and Diaw are ABSOLUTE necessities. It would be great if they all came back, but at what cost? Keep the long view in mind.

First, I believe that Neal is already signed for next year. So, thankfully, that isn't an issue for this summer.

Diaw has been an extremely good fit on the floor, but what kind of contract will he demand? Spurs would be stretching to pay him the full MLE, and it wouldn't be surprising to see someone else offer him more. Would he leave money on the table to remain TP's lesser-paId roommate?

Green has been a terrific developmental success for SA, but he prospers because of the Spur system. There was a reason Cleveland let him go, and his skills can be replaced if he wants to move on for a bigger payday. What the Spurs would miss in losing him is his corporate knowledge and his willingness to buy Pop's overall strategy. How much is that worth in dollars and years?

A case could be made for Patty Mills as the most important off-season re-signing since the Spurs don't have a legit back-up for TP, and Joseph doesn't yet look ready.

Spurs will have decisions to make regarding Blair and Joseph as two players still operating on very reasonable contracts. Are they trade bait?

Looking forward, it seems to me that the Spurs are ABSOLUTELY committed to Tiago and Kawhi. Everyone else is up for discussion.

Please show me where Neal is signed for next season as everything I see shows him as a free agent.
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Old 05-25-12, 03:29 PM
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There was a recent conversation on this board about Neal's status.

I'm only repeating what I've read on the board, but I understood that Neal signed a three year contract and has one year to go after this.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 05-25-12, 04:31 PM
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Yes, Neal has a 3 year deal.

Edit: added link.

http://www.ridiculousupside.com/2010...io-spurs-agree
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Old 05-25-12, 06:22 PM
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Another together for this team? How about just a FULL year together as a team? next year is an odd year to, so maybe, just maybe, (if they do win this year) they could actually win back to back 'ships.
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Old 05-26-12, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ibanezsr View Post
Please show me where Neal is signed for next season as everything I see shows him as a free agent.
Gary Neal is signed for $854,000 for next season. The following year he will be a restricted free agent if the Spurs tender a $1,100,000 qualifying offer.

ShamSports.com: San Antonio Spurs salary information
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Old 05-26-12, 09:54 AM
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I love Kawhi, but to be honest, I do not see Paul Pierce at all. I see more Gerald Wallace. Paul can create his own shot and he was never the defender or rebounder that Leonard has shown the potential to be. Strange comparison except that they were both forwards and #1 picks.

I say re-up Green, Neal and Diaw. Trade Blair, Bonner and Joseph. Keep Patty Mills....been a fan since the Olympics. Would we still be able to bring in Lorbek?
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Old 05-26-12, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Spurs Rulez View Post
I love Kawhi, but to be honest, I do not see Paul Pierce at all. I see more Gerald Wallace. Paul can create his own shot and he was never the defender or rebounder that Leonard has shown the potential to be. Strange comparison except that they were both forwards and #1 picks.

I say re-up Green, Neal and Diaw. Trade Blair, Bonner and Joseph. Keep Patty Mills....been a fan since the Olympics. Would we still be able to bring in Lorbek?
You must not remember Pierce averaging almost 2 steals, 1 block, and nearly 7 rebounds per game for the 1st five seasons of his career.
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Old 05-26-12, 02:47 PM
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You must not remember Pierce averaging almost 2 steals, 1 block, and nearly 7 rebounds per game for the 1st five seasons of his career.
Very early in his career and getting steals do not make you a great defender. I don't think he ever shut anyone down. Leonard is a different player...if you are comparing stats, maybe, but I don't see Pierce AT ALL.
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