Toronto Raptors: Kawhi Leonard season preview

Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Kawhi Leonard (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 21: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the San Antonio Spurs shoots against Andrew Wiggins #22 of the Minnesota Timberwolves on November 21, 2014 at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images) /


Leonard’s strengths lie in his two-way abilities. When on offense Leonard’s strengths are found in his abilities to control the pick-n-roll and his sharpness with the catch and shoot. Defensively, Leonard dominates opponents thanks to his switchability and his lock-down defense.

Over his 7-year career, Leonard has seemingly mastered the ability to maestro the pick-n-roll. He has the ability to read and react to a defense and has shown to be a very willing passer when the opportunity arises. He’s best been attacking off the roll, in which he ranks in the 93rd percentile for 2016.

Leonard has also developed into a dominant catch and shoot player scoring at an efficient field goal percentage of 62%. Leonard has been solid from deep in catch and shoot situations shooting at 43%.

Defensively, Leonard has become a notoriety in the NBA. Having already won two defensive player of the year awards and pairing that with four all-defensive teams Leonard has already proven he can do it all. Standing at 6’7 and 230 pounds Leonard’s size and athleticism allow him to switch to just about any position depending on the line-up. Leonard also knows how to play with his team, often creating mismatches or high-pressure situations which often result in a turnover. He’s the perfect fit for the modern defensive schemes.

Not only does Leonard have the ability to switch through a rotation, he’s also regarded throughout the league as the best 1 on 1 defender. He’s given the responsibility of defending the other team’s best player night in and night out and is seemingly always up to the task. Leonard’s big hands also play a large factor, they give him the opportunity to cut off passes and swipe balls away from his man.

Leonard is great on either side of the ball and will provide a massive boost to an already offensive and defensive dominant Raptors team.