5 - CJ Leslie

6-9, 209 Small Forward/Power Forward
NC State Junior
06/25/91 (30.4 yrs)
Holly Springs, NC
High School
Word of God
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Ball Handling

NBA Comparison: Terence Morris

Strengths: Explosive athlete who excites with his above-the-rim play … Has great length (7’1.5”) and uses it to disrupt shots (1.2 BPG) and swipe the ball (1 SPG) on defense … Though he is 21, he still has loads of untapped potential thanks to his athletic ability … One of the best in this draft class at getting to the line, Leslie averaged 6.6 attempts per game last season … Great slasher … Has a solid face-up game and is hard to stop when he gets the ball in the high post … Is a fantastic dunker thanks to his leaping ability … Great finisher on the fast break … Solid ball-handler who should be a matchup problem when guarded by power forwards … Runs the floor very well, making him a good transition player … Is generally considered a small forward but has the length to play the 4 … His dunking prowess can change the momentum of a game and get the crowd behind the team … Shot a solid FG percentage (52%) last season … Is a very good rebounder for a small forward thanks to his length and leaping ability (averaged 7.4 RPG last season) … Surprisingly effective in spot up opportunities, though they were limited … Great hands that serve to make him an ideal alley-oop target and help him get numerous put-backs … Defends the perimeter in ISO situations well using his good foot speed and length to disrupt opponents …
Weaknesses: Most of his problems stem from a lack of focus and motivation on the court … Questionable motor on both ends of the floor … Scouts have major reservations about his basketball IQ / attitude / negative body language … Doesn’t have a true position. Lacks strength at the 4 and skills to play the 3 … Lacks great decision making, passing skills to play on the perimeter (1:2 A/TO ratio) … Has been known to disappear in games, although he was a bit more consistent in his final college season … Needs to be more assertive, particularly when matched up against smaller or slower defenders … Offensively his touches come in a variety of ways, but nothing is overly effective … Lacks any sort of consistent perimeter shot, which allows bigger defenders to play off of him … More effective in transition than in the half court game. NC State attempted to use him on the block, but his post game never evolved … Gets lazy on defense and fails to do the little things, such as closing out on shooters and fighting through screens … Too skinny for his size and must put on weight or he will be unable to defend the 4 (his natural position) in the NBA … Turnover-prone (3 per game last season) … No consistent post moves will force him to be a face-up forward … Inability to ad strength via weight training during college career points to a lack of work ethic … Hasn’t come close to his full potential at age 21, which suggests that he never will … Will turn 22 just before draft night, meaning he’s the age of a senior … Should be a much more efficient defender considering his athleticism and length … Really struggles defending in the post …
Notes: Made All-ACC team each of the past two seasons … Suspended first three games of sophomore season for receiving impermissible benefits … Made an inspirational "assist" by rescuing a disabled student in a storm the court situation during the season …
Overall:  Sheer athleticism makes him a potential first rounder … Leslie is a superb athlete who can bring excitement off an NBA bench, but his inconsistent motor and poor perimeter shooting lead to several major holes in his game, which is why he finds himself falling to the second round of most mocks… Game could ultimately be best suited playing the 4 position in Europe …
Jacob Stallard 5/8/13

Strengths:  Entering his freshman year at North Carolina State, CJ Leslie is a long, 6’9 freshman with tremendous athleticism and versatility … His length, athleticism and leaping ability allow him to get high above the rim and make plays on the ball at its highest point, leading to many tip ins and putbacks on the offensive glass with his terrific hands … Has the ability to go coast to coast with capable ball handling skills … He also has the ability to put the ball on the floor and take his man off the dribble from about the foul line extended, and can finish strong around the rim in a variety of different ways … Shows the potential to develop a jump shot, but still has a ways to go before it becomes a weapon … He runs the floor well for a 6’9 forward and is an easy and big target on the break for his point guard as he can get up and catch anything around the basket … All the tools to be a great shotblocker on and off the ball … High motor guy who brings energy and explosiveness that can liven up his team and the crowd …

Weaknesses: Leslie sometimes gets too carried away with his versatility, and tends to get a little out of control with the ball in his hands … A little overconfident in his handle. Tries to do too much off the dribble at times, can be turnover prone … He’ll need to develop more of a consistent jump shot and add range to keep his defender honest, which will open up more opportunities for him in the faceup game as well … Lacks fundamental footwork in the post… needs to improve touch around the hoop when not dunking, and should add some more post up moves to his repertoire … It’s been said that he lacks concentration and focus … Wouldn’t hurt to add more bulk to his frame … A little bit of a tweener. Will need to decide on one of the two forward positions and work on becoming the best he can at that position …

Overall: Finished the Jordan Brand Classic with 19 points on 8-11 shooting, 6 boards and 3 blocks … An explosive forward who can practically play 3 positions, Leslie is athletically gifted and will provide a plethora of explosive dunks and finishes throughout every game … If he polishes up some basic fundamentals and continuously improves his jump shot, Leslie is a potential one and done lottery guy …

Notes: Measured 6’8.5 (in shoes) 198 lbs, with a 7’1.5 wingspan at the 2012 Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy

Jon Wasserman 6/27/2010

YouTube Clip – 3/5/2010