I have been thinking these two were similar for a long time now, but I have finally looked at some numbers that would suggest the same thing.
Alex Len didnt get to do all the combine athletic testing due to injury, but he was listed at 7'1, 255lbs, with a 7'3.5 wingspan and 6.4% body fat. As a 20 year old sophomore he averaged 11.9 ppg on 53.4% shooting, shot 68.6% from the line on 4 attempts per game, grabbed 7.8 boards, had .2 steals and 2.1 blocks, along with 1.6 turnovers and 2.7 fouls, all in only 26.4 mpg.
Meyers Leonard came in at 7'.25, 250lbs with a 7'3 wingspan and 5.7% body fat. As a 20 year old sophomore he averaged 13.6 ppg on 58.4% shooting, 73.2% from the line on 4 attempts, 8.2 rebounds, 1.3 assists, .5 steals, 1.9 blocks, 2.1 turnovers, and 2.9 fouls, all in 31.8 minutes per game.
Now Leonard tested well for his size, with a 9' standing reach, 30" no step vert, 32.5" max vert, and 19 bench presses. He was up and down as a sophomore, but he barely played as a freshman and he showed flashes of being the total package at the next level. He was able to put on weight, but was still capable of playing almost 32 mpg, showing great ability to run the floor. He did have some disappearing acts, and struggled with foul trouble at times as well. Even though he shows a good offensive skill set, he would make poor decisions and float out to shoot jumpers too often. That will come with time however.
Almost the same exact things can be said about Alex Len. He really does have all the tools necessary to be an all around really good center in the league. He has legitimate skills on both ends of the floor, along with the big body needed to fully utilize these skills at the next level. Like Leonard, however, Len was very up and down in college. He would get 26 and 13 one game, then have 8 and 4 and get in foul trouble the very next game. If he can get healthy and work on being a more consistent player, he can become a very good, starting caliber center in the league for the next decade.
Seem to show that Leonard is better. I know numbers don't say everything, but why are there people talking about Len like he's a top 5 pick? Some people even saying the cavs should take him number 1?
I honestly feel Leonard would have been the #1 pick if he came back. He would have most likely averaged 18 and 10, and with his physical tools I think he is a better prospect than anyone in this draft. Len does have some similarities, but imo Leonard is a better athlete and had a bit better production in college.
Leonard was pretty immature, as i recall. He also got a late start playing basketball and is probably more raw than Len, especially with post moves.
Leonard did a good job gaining weight before the combine and showing up with a serious looking facial exression instead of a boyish smile, and raised his stock.
Not encouraging that Aldridge doesnt think he'll be close to ready next year.
I think Len is naturally stronger but less athletic, but more polished offensively.
If Len could have prepared for the combine and workouts, hard to say how much better he would have looked.
I think Cleveland might as well take Len number 1, unless he has some personality issues i dont know about.
Noel looks like a role player to me, even long term.
for the game of basketball. I am not really sure how much better Jo Val is as a prospect than Alex Len. Len has more offensive moves and fluidity but is not the banger, rebounder and defender Jo Val is. Jo Val > Len, I think Jo Val is still the better prospect and would go first in this draft but he may never average 17 points per game like Len probably will in a few seasons. Before the injury Alex Len was as fast as Jo Val up and down the court. Now that Jo Val put on more muscle he is a lot stiffer and Len could end up being the same way. If he makes a complete recovery from the foot/ankle issue and can run full speed then he is a pretty good piece to have.
I think Len is superior to Leonard across the board except for being as tough and having a harder body. Meyers will often look lost on a number of possessions during a game. Plus even at Illinois Meyers liked to drift to the mid range while Len does to, his post game is much more developed.
sometimes, it's hard to go by the stats. i feel like len never really had a good pg that would get him the ball. terrill stogill was a shoot first pg that didn't seem to interested in feeding len a couple years ago. and p'sean howard played horribly this season.
that seriously. Terrell Stoglin and Seth Allen were the PG's Len played with. Leonard didn't have a great PG either. College numbers mean nothing.
i would take demetri mccamey and a pass-first 5yr senior like sam maniscalco over stoglin and allen.
and i'm pretty p'sean started the season as pg.
Like you point out, the difference between them as prospects is pretty narrow. Both are still developing, so their ceiling has as much to do with how the team manages that process as their raw tools. I have questioned in my own mind any of the mocks that have Len going to Portland, as he seems too similar to Leonard. Both of these guys probably have a lot of basketball in front of them.
Alex Len showed himself to be the best player on the court in multiple games last season. That includes against Kentucky, Duke and you could argue UNC as well.
More importantly, Len was able to produce without the help of his guards. I watched quite a few Maryland games and was always shocked at how little Len was fed the ball. Wells and the other guards wouldn't dish him off of PnRs, or would miss opportunities at lob passes off of cuts. That kind of lack of distribution won't happen at the NBA level.
Leonard never showed himself to be the best player on the court. Just a raw prospect at all times.
being a blazers fan i watched every game this season, Leonard is a freak athletically, strong points is he can make the outside shot, good free throw shooter and he can run as fast as guards up the floor, but he disappeared when it to defence, blocking shots and rebounding isn't a strong point for him, yet.. hopefully he's working hard this off season and doesn't get the blazer big man curse