Southeast Notes: Leonard, Sheppard, Wizards, Hornets

Meyers Leonard has recovered from a severe ankle sprain he suffered in February, but his role with the Heat has completely changed, writes Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press. Leonard was Miami’s starting center in 49 of the 51 games he played, but he has only been on the court for nine minutes in the playoffs.

“My team knows this, and our coaching staff knows this,” Leonard said. “I would do anything to be out there. And I’d be lying if I said that I’m not competitive as hell. I wish I was impacting the game on the floor. I’m not, but as a person and as a player, I want what’s best for everybody.”

Leonard was still recovering from the injury when the hiatus began in March, which caused team facilities to shut down and forced a change in his rehab process. Miami also switched to a smaller lineup after acquiring Jae Crowder and Andre Iguodala at the trade deadline. Coach Erik Spoelstra informed Leonard of his reduced role before the restart began.

“There’s just two things that I won’t ever let be questioned and that’s character and work ethic,” Leonard said. “Every day when I walk through the door, I’m going to be a great guy, a great teammate. It’s not fake. So I’m trying to make my impact now from the sideline.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard is a believer in analytics and he hopes to use data to help the team lessen its risk of injuries, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. More teams are turning to load management to avoid overextending players during the regular season, and Sheppard thinks numbers can play a role in that. “Rather than have to react to an injury, you could see possibly something on the horizon and take that player out of harm’s way,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you shut him down, but maybe they play less in a game, or maybe they don’t play at all, or maybe they have active recovery days.”
  • In a separate story, Katz teams with David Aldridge of The Athletic to assess the Wizards‘ current situation and find a way to rebuild the franchise. Aldridge notes that Washington used its $9.2MM mid-level exception to sign four players last summer and suggests that the entire amount should be targeted to one player this year, possibly Derrick Jones Jr., Rondae Hollis-Jefferson or Maurice Harkless.
  • With the third overall pick and two selections in the second round, the Hornets might benefit more than most teams from the decision to delay the draft until November, writes Danny Thompson of Sports Illustrated.
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19 thoughts on “Southeast Notes: Leonard, Sheppard, Wizards, Hornets

    • DeathbyDeathwest

      To sit behind Graham and Rozier?

      They should see if they can work out a trade for Westbrook..

      • Appalachian_Outlaw

        No. Please, just no. I don’t want Ball on the Hornets, and I definitely do NOT want Westbrook. They just got out of a huge cap mess.

        The Hornets need to trade down and pick up more selections. If Philly wants to attach some picks, I wouldn’t be mad if Charlotte took Horford on.

      • Sillivan

        Anthony Edwards is Andrew Wiggins
        Warriors would have 2 Wiggins if they select Edwards
        Hornets can trade Ball to Knicks for more assets

        • Appalachian_Outlaw

          I’m really hoping a NY/CHA deal comes together. One I’d like to see, and I tried it on the trade machine to see if it works is:

          To NY: Malik Monk & the 3rd pick.
          To CHA: Julius Randle & the 8th pick.

          • Sillivan

            Better idea would be
            Knicks get Graham and 3rd pick
            Hornets get Randle, 2021 and 2026 Protected Knicks First Round picks and 2 Mavs picks

            • Appalachian_Outlaw

              If I were the GM in Charlotte, no dice there. I wouldn’t want to deal Graham. The major thing for me though is a lot of those assets you’re trading are years down the road. I don’t think Charlotte’s rebuild takes that long. Graham is a foundation piece, and they’re probably only about 2 yrs away.

              • imindless

                If you think randle is that good you haven’t seen him play. Puts up numbers in garbage time. Almost no outside game and commits a ton of turnovers. Also a tweener that gets exposed by bigger players and one that can’t keep up with smaller players.

        • joeyrocafella

          What assets do the Knicks have that are making a big difference for them? Gimme the college players and not the Knicks pile of trash

  1. x%sure

    Sounds like Tommy Sheppard wants some of those laid-off Monumental Sports employees back so they’re less minimental. ;)

  2. Appalachian_Outlaw

    Btw, how on Earth are analytics going to help you see if a guy might get hurt? I mean obviously more rest decreases injury risk, so I get that aspect of it. I don’t quite get the connection between what they see in numbers and forecasting potential injuries, though?

  3. KnickerbockerAl

    Knicks don’t want Ball. Why must everyone always use the Knicks. It’s like you are all Espn clones. Get a real thought. You know you can actually scout from videos. You can research stories from 6 months ago. Stop being bandwagon fans. Half the teams in top ten. Don’t even like Ball. He’s not better than his brother. He don’t play D. NBA is not about hype. It’s about real talent. Ball if he is serious about playing. Won’t show till 4 yrs from now. Knicks not waiting. We rather have Lonzo.
    Who needs analytics to monitor safety. Today you should be able to manage a 12 man roster. Either your team is a contender. A playoff team. Or a rebuilding team. Or a young team moving up. Or a restructured team trying to become a winner. Why would you need stats. Are you blind. Today’s world you should always be managing mins. Based on what kind of team you have. Like Knicks who weren’t going anywhere last yr. You would think these idiots. Could play the young guys. So we can see where they are. What is the point of trying to make 8th seed. If you have a young team. And you are looking forward to draft. Who needs analytics for this. You need analytics to tell you Rockets need a real big. To tell you Harden controls ball too much. Seriously. The best thing anyone has is Real talent. The eye test. And real leg work. Analytics is a lazy mans gm. Yes it helps. But it’s a tool not a way of life.

    • specialfriedrice

      Nice I actually bothered to read your wall of text and you have many good points.

      I can concur with Ball, being from Australia, it’s sad but true but the NBL is not a good competition to gauge a players ability to leap frog into the NBA.

      We’ve had many ‘great’ players play in the NBL, but when the move to the NBA comes, whether they be an Import or an Aussie, the move never translates into actual NBA success, as in what you might call a ‘solid’ career. So from my point of view it’s really hard to see him having a lottery pick career coming from what he did in the NBL.

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