Eastern Notes: Leonard, Fultz, LaVine, Johnson

New Heat center Meyers Leonard is ready for the new opportunity that awaits him in Miami, writes Ira Winderman of the Sun-Sentinel.

 “I know that I can impact the game every night… And I’m vastly improved compared to when I was younger and earlier in my career. The easiest way to put it is I feel really good about where I’m at. And I’m just excited for this new opportunity. The Heat saw something in me and I really appreciate it.”

Leonard, who becomes an intriguing stretch option in the frontcourt for head coach Erik Spoelstra, is confident in his ability to hit open threes and expand his game even further.

“I’m going to do what’s asked of me… If I’m open, I’m going to shoot it. That’s one thing I feel that, particularly last year, I started to do a better job of is take more contested shots…. I (also) feel that I’ve really expanded my game. I can get my shot off quicker. I feel good, even extended beyond the 3-point line. I really, really feel that I’ll be able to provide a very unique skill-set and the ability to roll all the way to the rim, to half roll and play-make or to pick and pop to three. So it’s something I’ve worked very, very hard on.”

 There’s more news from the Eastern Conference:
  • Magic guard and former No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz has joined Roc Nation Sports, the 21-year-old announced on his own Twitter account.
  • The best-case scenario for Bulls guard Zach LaVine? He’s got All-Star potential, and should be an All-Star this season, writes Mark Strotman of NBC Sports Chicago. But, on the flip side, if he isn’t able to mesh better with Lauri Markkanen and improve on the defensive side of the ball, it may be another long season in Chicago.
  • Rod Beard of The Detroit News reports that Pistons guard Joe Johnson, who signed a partially guaranteed deal earlier this month, has impressed head coach Dwane Casey with his conditioning. “My main concern was Joe getting up and down and he showed that he can still run the floor and still be athletic,” Casey said. “He has it, even at (38).”
newest oldest

17 thoughts on “Eastern Notes: Leonard, Fultz, LaVine, Johnson

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    That doesn’t speak well for Detroit if they’re impressed by Iso Joe.

    • It’s funny, they are impressed that he can run up and down the court, LOL. I guess that’s an accomplishment at 38. So they signed him thinking he wasn’t able to do that? They’re surprised that he can? Wow.

          • diller1340

            I’m laughing at the fact that he’s still better then half of Houston’s 15 man roster

            • mcmillankmm

              Hahah good point….always felt Anderson was wrongly criticized…it’s not his fault he has a good agent and the salary cap spiked so he was able to sign for $20M a year….he’s a good player but probably only
              Worth half that per season

        • Codeeg, not sure which part you’re commenting on but I’m actually laughing at the guy who signed Johnson rather than Johnson himself. How do you sign someone and then be surprised that they can run up and down the court?

          • zappaforprez

            Because someone else was going to sign him regardless. Hence why Detroit pounced, to see if they can catch lightning in a bottle. It isn’t that complex to comprehend. Well, I guess it is for you, actually.

            • What is there to comprehend. He’s done. He was done two years ago. If he even makes the team his stat line will be two points, 1/2 a rebound and 1/2 an assist per game in 28 games on the season. Save this post, bring it up in April. You’re welcome.

            • Someone else was going to sign him? You’re thinking teams were lined up for Joe Johnson? He only got a partial guarantee. What does that tell you?

              • diller1340

                Actually there were other teams lining up to sign him. He had multiple contract offers and he only took Detroit’s because of Arn Tellem used to be his agent and now is a minority owner of the pistons. Similar reason why Derick Rose chose the pistons as well

                • Okay so here’s a post with substance and reason. Some come here and blurt out unsubstantiated ideas.. but you give real reasons. Love it. Sounds good.

                • Let me ask you this, perhaps Arn tellem is doing Joe a favor by signing him and there really wasn’t any other team willing to give Johnson a tryout at 38 years old? I don’t know, just asking?

  2. As someone who watched Meyers for 7 years he can not positively impact the game every night. It’ll be interesting to see if he is even in the rotation in Miami

    • Jeff Zanghi

      Yeah I’m not sold on him really being a high impact guy for Miami BUT he does have a pretty impressive 3-pt% for a bit guy so if the Heat can find a way to get him in the rotation and shooting some 3’s who knows… maybe he’ll be a surprise story and a legitimate scoring option off the bench or something. The one thing I find a little odd is that he seems to be a “poor mans” Olynk — who’s already on the Heat so I’m not sure how much of a different look he’s really going to bring to them — but he seems to have some untapped potential/skill so we’ll see if he figures something out in MIA

  3. Perhaps a coaching change will help Leonard. He showed something extra in the playoffs, and has all of the skills – he just needs confidence.

Leave a Reply