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Is Kawhi Leonard a top 10 NBA player?

Discussion in 'NBA Dish' started by TheresTheDagger, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. FV Santiago

    FV Santiago Member

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    He is a tremendous player, but not top 10. He is aided significantly by the best coach in the NBA and a very experienced, professional supporting cast with great chemistry. There isn't any pressure on him to carry his team, like there is on other leading players.

    Also, this year has been a breakout year for him. Yes, he was Finals MVP, but this regular season is his first time really putting up impressive numbers. Longevity has to enter into the discussion when talking about a top 10 player -- and Leonard lacks the track record. He is very young (23) however and a rising star. Perhaps at some point in the next 2 years he cracks the top 10.
     
  2. dkamberi25

    dkamberi25 Member

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    Not yet, but he is certainty on his way. He just doesn't have a big enough body of work for that high of a distinction, and unlike Anthony Davis he hasn't exploded in his short body of work. Off the top of my head, the following are guys who are unquestionably better than Kawhi at the moment:

    James Harden
    Stephen Curry
    Russell Westbrook
    LeBron James
    Kevin Durant
    Damian Lillard
    LaMarcus Aldridge
    Kyrie Irving
    Chris Paul
    Blake Griffin
    Carmelo Anthony
    Anthony Davis

    More then 10 guys in that list. Kawhi would then be in a bigger group just outside of the top group. So he is probably somewhere between 15-30 right now with room to move up.
     
  3. RHU525

    RHU525 Member
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    What is with all the love for Damian Lillard? He is borderline top 10 pt guard in the NBA. Other than scoring he's not good at anything. No defense, play making is suspect.
     
  4. omgTHEpotential

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    Yeah including Lillard to this list is ridiculous. Screams of fanboy-ism.
     
  5. Zergling

    Zergling Member

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    He's not, but either way... damnit Morey. You're pretty solid at drafting but you passed up this guy for Marcus Morris?
     
  6. rockbox

    rockbox Around before clutchcity.com

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    The spurs do a pretty darn good job at developing players. I don't think he is top 10 because he hasn't carried a team and he can't ISO him to force defenses to adjust. Franchise players force players to adjust.
     
  7. joeson332

    joeson332 Member

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    THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He's not exactly a marquee name like Curry, Harden, Lebron but one on one he could take any of them.
     
  8. joeson332

    joeson332 Member

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    Be Well fam.... :grin:
     
  9. don grahamleone

    don grahamleone Contributing Member

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    Nikola topped Kawhi's career high 7 times this year. He can actually create points. That's why he averages more points, because when you give him the ball, he delivers. Also, 11 boards a game makes a huge difference, he's just on a young team with no PF and a PG who can't space the floor. Kawhi's creativity consists of catch and shoot or get a steal and run down for a dunk. Offensively he's a 2 tool player which adds up to not dangerous. If you had a NBA draft of every player, Leonard wouldn't come off the board before the 15th. Defensive specialists are not top 10 types.
     
  10. AirBud#10

    AirBud#10 Member

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    And how many games did the Magic win with him as their best player? He can put up numbers, and his offensive game is great, but defensively he's pretty bad. He's basically a lesser Al Jefferson.
     
  11. George Gervin

    George Gervin Member

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    you obviously haven't watched him play
     
  12. BONIERO1576

    BONIERO1576 Member

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    This is my main thing with him. He's not an elite offensive threat. He is an elite defender and a decent spot up shooter and finisher. I think he ranks somewhere around the Parson and Hayward's at his own position. Very good players, maybe even worthy of the max considering the lack of talent at that position, but top 10 in the league? No way.
     
  13. The_Yoyo

    The_Yoyo Contributing Member

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    I dont think he is top 15 right now actually, but I think he can be top 10. I think some of the questions that surround him are similar to Harden before he came to Houston about being able to carry a team and be the primary focus. Kawhi has a lot of offensive skill and his defense is off the charts, but 'playmaker' I dont know if thats the case for him though. That Spurs offense is the playmaker, but at the same time I can't recall Kawhi running pick and rolls and all the way Parker or Manu do on that team.

    Having played for the Spurs obviously helped his growth but I think almost every team in the league would love to have him. I mean imagine if we had him instead of Ariza - this team probably would have an extra 2-3 wins (provided he stayed healthy all season long the way trevor has)

    I am really interested in seeing how he does when Duncan/Manu finally retire and its just him and Parker
     
  14. Teen Wolf

    Teen Wolf Member

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    Kawhi is a fantastic player who plays incredibly well within himself. He understands the system and thrives in it. Still not a top 10 individual talent. If we're drafting everyone from a pool for one season Kawhi probably doesn't come off the board until the 15th-20th pick.

    Also he's much better than Chandler Parsons. Not sure why that name was brought up.
     
  15. JayZ750

    JayZ750 Contributing Member

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    That's fine and all... but basically makes his comment and the whole thread useless.

    Hey, Harden is averaging 39 points on 55% shooting, 61% three point shooting, 6 boards, 6 assists, 2.3 steals over his last 3 games. Over his last 3 games he's one of the greatest players EVER. Period. Full stop.

    ^ see... it's a useless comment.

    I can't believe the OP didn't include DeMarcus Cousins on his list, which is an obvious miss.

    Like most others, I'd agree he is probably top 20.

    Arguing him vs. Vucevic is useless. Switch those guys and the Magic CERTAINLY aren't any better and the Spurs probably aren't any worse... because while they certainly miss Kawhi's crazy good defense and intangibles, they have ways of finding skill players to fill in to give them the exact skill needed.

    Team and situation matter, and Kawhi is in a great situation there.

    I do think he's the best wing guard defender in the NBA... but I don't think that is as important as it used to be.

    It's like the guy claiming he ran circles around Lebron in the Finals last year, when Lebron scores 28 a game, grabs 8 boards, 4 assists, on 68% (!!) true shooting percentage, with an offensive rating of 120.

    I'd take the #5 interior defender over Kawhi... because interior defense is just so much more important in today's NBA. Noah, Tyson Chandler, Dwight (when healthy), Davis, Duncan, Hibbert, Ibaka.

    I get what the point per possession stats say with Kawhi on the court, and agree that he is VERY important defensively, just saying that I'd take the top big man defenders first if I was only choosing for defense... it's a five man game, and all funnels to the rim...
     
  16. tmac2k8

    tmac2k8 Member

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    I'll start of by admitting that I don't watch a lot of spurs basketball but Leonard to me still has that aura of being a very solid role player as opposed to a guy you build a team around. My limited knowledge of him is that he defends well, can shoot the 3, can rebound and is a scrappy around the basket guy. Is he a guy that you give the ball to and just say "here carry your team to victory"?? I just don't see that. Again, I'm admitting that I don't watch many live games of the spurs or specifically Kawhi.
     
  17. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

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    I think Zach Lowe was talking about top 10 players post all-star break. Not just in general.
     
  18. MoonieMac10

    MoonieMac10 Member

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    hes not top 10 yet but I think he will be when Duncan retires. He is the best defensive player in the league though.
     
  19. 101 6 7

    101 6 7 Member

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