22 - TJ Leaf

6-10, 225 Power Forward
UCLA Freshman
04/30/97 (22.6 yrs)
El Cajon, CA
High School
Foothills Christian
Team Site Profile
Jump Shot
NBA Ready
Post Skills

NBA Comparison: Nick Collison

Strengths: A versatile offensive player who shows the ability to play both inside and out … He has a European-like skillset and does a great job of exploiting mismatches on offense … Although he is not an advanced post player at this stage in his career, he has shown flashes of good footwork and a variety of post moves from the block … He has nice touch around the basket and effectively utilizes jump hooks, turnaround jumpers, and even an occasional dream shake … As a shooter, Leaf has good mechanics and is more than capable stretching the floor as a three-point shooter … He also demonstrates a solid mid-range pull up game, particularly from the elbows … He excels at taking bigger defenders off the dribble and does a great job of utilizing ball fakes from the perimeter … Leaf is not an elite athlete, but he is a good jumper off two feet and can finish above the rim consistently … Even though he isn’t the quickest laterally, he does a good job of moving his feet and using his size to stay in front of quicker guards … He also has solid defensive instincts and is a capable shot blocker … Two of Leaf’s strongest attributes are his high basketball I.Q. and his motor … He has also proven to be a clutch player who doesn’t get phased by a big moment or crowd (Rupp Arena) … Leaf moves well without the ball allowing him to get high quality shots … He’s also an excellent and willing passer for his size … Rarely does he force the issue, and he is almost always under control … He plays with consistent effort and regularly makes hustle plays, particularly on the offensive glass … Leaf is a terrific rebounder, which has a lot to do with how relentlessly he pursues the ball on both ends of the court … Leaf’s size, versatility, feel for the game, and motor make him a prospect with a high floor …

Weaknesses: The biggest area of concern for Leaf at this point is his lack of strength … He needs to add leg and core strength to better absorb contact and maintain balance … The good news is that he is only 19 years old and that there’s plenty of time for his frame to fill out … However, this hurts his ability to defend in the post where he can sometimes get pushed around … Although he is a capable finisher at the rim, he also struggles to finish through contact and does not have great body control when attacking the basket … As skilled as he is, rarely does he finish around the basket with his left hand … Leaf will need to improve in this area at the next level, or it will be much more difficult for him to score consistently … Right now he projects as more of a stretch four than a reliable go to option on the block … Leaf also doesn’t have great length and doesn’t really project as a rim protector at the next level … Although he has good instincts, he struggles defensively at times with longer and more athletic forwards …

Notes: Born in Tel Aviv, Israel. McDonald’s All-American and 2nd Team All USA in senior year of high school. Named runner-up for California Mr. Basketball. Played for Israel during the 2015 U18 European Championships Division B, where he averaged 16.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg and 2.2 apg in 23.2 mpg. Named MVP of tournament.

William Desautelle III 12/31/16

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