Meyers Leonard
Meyers Leonard
28-Year-Old CenterC
Miami Heat  NBA  
Miami Heat
2019 Fantasy Outlook
A July 1st trade to the Heat ended a seven-year, career-opening tenure in Portland for Leonard, but it arguably leaves the floor-stretching seven-footer in a relatively similar situation as the one he was mired in previously. While Miami shipped Hassan Whiteside to the Trail Blazers as part of the deal, that simply elevated 2017 first-round pick Bam Adebayo to the starting center role. Leonard has averaged 16.5 minutes or less in each of his last three seasons, even as he's encouragingly boosted his three-point success rate over the prior year in each of the last two campaigns. Leonard topped out at an impressive 45.0 percent success rate from behind the arc last season, and he closed out his Blazers career with a 30-point, 12-rebound double-double versus the Warriors the conference finals. The big man has proven capable of similarly impressive intermittent scoring spurts over the course of his career, but playing time limitations figure to keep his value primarily limited to deeper formats yet again this coming season. Leonard does boast superior size to Adebayo, but he only boasts a one-inch height advantage on a player with a similar offensive profile to him in Kelly Olynyk. The latter also has a two-year head start in the Heat's system on Leonard and has a more accomplished NBA track record, lending further credence to the notion Leonard could once again fill only a modest role in the center rotation despite the change in locale. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $41 million contract with the Trail Blazers in July of 2016. Traded to the Heat in July of 2019.
Personal Bio

Meyers Patrick Leonard was born Feb. 27, 1992 in Woodbridge, Virginia. Leonard's nickname is "Hammer", which was given to him by close friends. He is the son of the late Jim and Tracie Leonard, and his older brother, Bailey, is a former U.S. Marine. While at the University of Illinois, Leonard majored in Sports Management. His hobbies include traveling, trying new food and playing video games. When his career is over, Leonard would like to coach and speak to groups. His Leonard Family Legacy Foundation focuses on connecting communities, promoting active youth and supporting the United States military. You can follow Leonard on Twitter @MeyersLeonard, and he's active on his Twitch channel as well (twitch.tv/MeyersLeonard).

College/International Summary

Leonard stayed within the state after high school to play college hoops at Illinois. He served as a reserve for the 2010-11 season behind Mike Tisdale as a freshman. The 7-foot-1 center scored in double digits twice and averaged 2.1 points in 8.2 minutes. After the season, he played in the 2011 FIBU U19 World Championships in Latvia for Team USA. Leonard broke out in his sophomore campaign and provided 13.6 points, 8.2 rebounds and a Big Ten-leading 1.9 blocks. He converted 58.4 percent of his field goals. The Illini opened the season by winning their first 10 games, including a win over Gonzaga in which Leonard scored 21 points. He had eight double-doubles, including 22 points and 14 rebounds in a win over Iowa to snap a six-game losing streak. He entered the 2012 NBA Draft after his sophomore season and was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 11th overall pick.

Coming off bench in opener
CMiami Heat
August 1, 2020
Leonard will come off the bench during Saturday's restart opener against the Nuggets, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald reports.
ANALYSIS
Leonard will play his first game since Feb. 3, as he missed the final 16 games before the hiatus due to a significant ankle injury. Coach Erik Spoelstra is opting to start Jae Crowder in his place for the first game of the restart. It will be the first time all season that Leonard is coming off the pine.
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Past Season Summaries
2018

Leonard largely occupied a reserve role for the Trailblazers in 2018-19, appearing in 61 contests. However, he did start two games. The veteran big man averaged 5.9 points -- a three-year high -- and 3.8 rebounds per contest. He scored in double figures on nine occasions during the regular season. Leonard's highest-scoring contest came Apr. 10 against Sacramento, when he went off for 19 points and 11 rebounds for one of his two double-doubles on the year. He also set a new single-game high in rebounds with 16 against the Clippers on Nov. 25. Leonard dished out four assists in three separate appearances. Always a highly accurate shooter from long range, he posted his best 3-point percentage yet, knocking down 45 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc -- complementing a strong 54.5 percent field-goal percentage. He saved his best effort for the playoffs, however. After seeing limited minutes for much of the postseason, Leonard moved into the starting lineup for the final two games of Portland's Western Conference Finals defeat against Golden State. He posted the performance of his career in Game 4, tallying 30 points on 12-of-16 shooting while collecting 12 rebounds for his first postseason double-double. He also set a personal playoff high by hitting five 3-pointers in that contest.

2017

Leonard played in 33 games for the Trail Blazers, starting two of them, in the 2017-18 campaign. He missed eight straight games from October to November with an ankle injury and was in and out of the lineup when healthy. The center averaged 3.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.5 assists in 7.7 minutes per game. Leonard remained a threat from long range, hitting on 43.2 percent of his 3-pointers -- the second-best mark of his career. On Nov. 18 against the Kings, he posted 11 points -- including a trio of threes -- and seven rebounds. Leonard then scored a season-high 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting over just 15:46 on Dec. 2 against the Pelicans. His Trail Blazers won the third seed in the West, though they were swept in the first round by New Orleans. Leonard made two appearances in the series, most notably collecting eight points and four rebounds over just 7:55 on the court in Game 3.

2016

Leonard re-signed with the Trail Blazers before the 2016-17 season on a four-year deal. He appeared in 74 games, making 12 starts -- both season highs. The center averaged 5.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists across 16.5 minutes per game. His best performance came on Nov. 20 at the Brooklyn Nets, when he posted 14 points and 11 rebounds while hitting 4-of-6 threes. That was his lone double-double of the season. He also registered a season-high 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting (including 4-for-4 from downtown) on Jan. 21 against the Celtics on the road. He bounced back as a free-throw shooter, knocking down 87.5 percent of his shots from the charity stripe after making 76.1 percent the year before. Leonard's Blazers finished the season with a 41-41 record as the Western Conference's eighth seed and were swept by the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs. The fifth-year big man appeared in three postseason games, starting one, and averaged 0.7 points with 2.7 rebounds across 10.3 minutes per contest.

2015

Leonard had his biggest season yet in 2015-16 NBA season, playing in 61 games for the Trail Blazers while setting new career highs in starts (10), minutes per game (21.9) points per game (8.4), rebounds per game (5.1) and assists per game (1.5). He continued shooting plenty of threes, setting another career best by averaging 1.4 per game while hitting them at a 37.7 percent rate. Leonard posted a season-high 23 points with four threes and seven rebounds in 31 minutes against the Mavericks on Dec. 1. On Dec. 31, he tied a career high with five threes (on just six attempts) against Utah, scoring 17 points in the process. The Illinois product scored in double digits on 25 occasions. He also notched four double-doubles during the season, including grabbing a season-high 14 boards to go with 11 points on Mar. 1 against the Knicks. Leonard suffered a left shoulder injury that required surgery in March, ending his season prematurely and causing him to miss the playoffs.

2014

Leonard appeared in 55 games in his third season, starting seven of them. He responded with career-high averages in points (5.9) and rebounds (4.5) despite playing only 15.4 minutes per game. In November and December, he suited up for just 12 of Portland's 29 games, but Leonard carved out a more substantial role starting in January, missing just five games the rest of the way while seeing increased minutes. That was particularly true in the season's final weeks. Over the Blazers' last eight games, Leonard averaged 22.2 minutes a night, raising his production to 9.4 points and 7.9 boards per game. Overall, Leonard showed impressive growth as a shooter. After failing to make a single 3-pointer in the prior campaign, he came back to hit 47 of his long-range tries at a sparkling 42.0 percent rate. He also shot 51.0 percent from the field and an incredible 93.8 percent from the free-throw line. Leonard turned in six games with double-digit rebounds, double-doubling on three of those occasions -- most impressively Apr. 6 against Brooklyn, when he racked up 17 points, a career-high 15 boards, four assists and two steals. That was also his finest scoring effort in the NBA to that point, but Leonard blew it away a week later, scoring 24 points with a season-high five threes against the Thunder. Leonard also enjoyed a bigger role than ever before in the playoffs, averaging 7.8 points and 6.6 rebounds while hitting 10 of his 13 attempts from beyond the arc over the course of the Blazers' first-round loss to Memphis.

2013

Leonard appeared in 40 games, all coming off bench, in the 2013-14 NBA season. The center registered 2.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 0.5 assists across 8.9 minutes per game for the Trail Blazers. He played a significant role for the first time on Nov. 5 against the Rockets, logging six points and two rebounds in 14 minutes. Leonard's best performance came Jan. 2, when he posted eight points, 10 rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes against the Hornets. In January, he was limited by an ankle sprain and missed seven games. He later dished four assists on Mar. 5 against the Atlanta Hawks to set his career high. Leonard's playing time increased somewhat over the course of the season, from 7.0 minutes per game in November to 10.0 minutes in March. The Blazers finished with a 54-28 record, good for the fifth seed in the West, and went two rounds deep in the playoffs. Leonard played in four games, all against the Spurs in the second round, notching two rebounds in less than 10 minutes of total court time.

2012

Leonard was selected with the 11th overall pick by the Trail Blazers in the 2012 NBA Draft. The 20-year-old out of Illinois played 69 games, starting nine, during his rookie season. He collected 5.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 0.6 blocks in 17.5 minutes per game, mostly in relief of LaMarcus Aldridge and JJ Hickson, showing his versatility in the paint. Leonard debuted on Oct. 31 against the Lakers, scoring four points in 23 minutes off the bench. On Nov. 21, he started for the first time against the Suns, registering 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting with five rebounds and two blocks in 35 minutes alongside Aldridge. On Nov. 26, he had three blocks against the Pistons, a career high. The center's best performance came Mar. 30 against the Warriors, when he posted 22 points with 10 rebounds and a block in 40 minutes for his first career double-double. Despite his limited playing time, Leonard managed to score in double figures 13 times and block multiple shots on six separate occasions.

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Transaction History
  • June 28, 2012
    Drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1st round (11th pick) of the 2012 NBA Draft.
  • July 1, 2012
    Signed a rookie two-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers
  • July 10, 2016
    Signed a four-year contract with the Portland Trail Blazers
  • July 6, 2019
    As part of a 4-team trade, traded by the Portland Trail Blazers to the Miami Heat in exchange for Hassan Whiteside
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2018
2017
2015
2014
2012
Leonard’s playing time disappointingly took a dip last season, his sixth, and he suited up for only 33 games while dealing with ankle and back injuries. The veteran had averaged double-digit minutes the three prior seasons as a member of the frontcourt rotation, but logged just 7.7 minutes per contest during the 2017-18 campaign. As expected with the reduced opportunity, Leonard’s shot attempts were down as well, and any hope for an eventual breakout as a starting-quality, floor-spacing seven-footer seem to be dashed at this point of his career. Leonard may manage to latch on to a roster spot again this season, but 2017 first-rounders Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan appear much likelier to see minutes ahead of him.
Leonard came into last season with high hopes after securing a four-year, $42 million contract, but saw a fairly volatile workload throughout the year, which ultimately restricted his overall Fantasy impact. He ended up averaging just 16.5 minutes across 74 games, down from 21.9 minutes a season prior. Much of that can be attributed to added depth in the frontcourt, with the addition of Jusuf Nurkic at the trade deadline and guys like Maurice Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu stepping up at power forward. However, Leonard didn't do much to help himself either, as he shot just 38.6 percent from the field and 34.7 percent from the three-point line, both of which declined from 2016-17. Overall, Leonard ended up lingering in a minor bench role with averages of 5.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.0 three-pointer. Looking ahead to the upcoming campaign, Leonard's quest for playing time doesn't look promising. The Trail Blazers added Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan in the 2017 NBA Draft, which will likely come at the expense of Leonard. With more bodies and less minutes available, Leonard's value should be on the decline
When the Blazers faced the Thunder on Opening Night last season, the starting five was embarking upon its third year together, and Chris Kaman and Joel Freeland were present to provide support to mainstays LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez. Leonard was thus contained to spot duty for the first two months, and another period post-All-Star break, but he really came into his own in the playoffs. Playing alongside Aldridge for significant stretches, Leonard finished Portland's first-round series defeat to the Grizzlies with one double-double and 10 three-pointers made across five games. Prior to losing Aldridge and Lopez in free agency, the Blazers, perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, acquired Mason Plumlee in a draft-day deal and inked Ed Davis to a three-year contract. The additions placed a cloud over Leonard's potential to transfer from bench fodder to a consistent member of the frontcourt rotation. However, as the offseason continued, general manager Neil Olshey intimated that Leonard is expected to start at power forward next to Plumlee, making him the seeming heir apparent to Aldridge. Leonard's ability to stretch the floor lends credence to that thought process, as he can coexist with paint dwellers Plumlee and Davis without clogging up driving lanes for guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. As a result, Leonard's per-36 production (13.9 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.0 three-pointers, and 1.4 assists) and rare shooting touch (he shot 51 percent from the field, 42 percent from three-point land, and 94 percent at the free-throw line) are a recipe for success, as long as he sidesteps foul trouble (5.3 per 36 minutes in his career).
Whether it was the lack of playing time or his inability to make any strides as a defender, Meyers Leonard took a sizable step backward in his second year in the league, averaging 2.5 points (on 45-percent shooting) and 2.8 boards in nine minutes per game. Even when he garnered more consistent run after the All-Star break, the 11th selection of the 2012 NBA Draft experienced a reduction in overall production - 2.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in nine minutes per outing - while appearing in 19 of a possible 29 games on the way to 40 games played. One would think facing lesser competition, as the 22-year-old did at the Las Vegas Summer League, would improve his prospects, but an shoulder injury resulted in merely 6.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.0 assist, and 1.0 block in 28 minutes per contest. In actuality, the bane of his existence, and his biggest hurdle to NBA success, is an inability to give out contact while avoiding a foul. Until his career mark of 5.6 fouls per 36 minutes turns around, Leonard will find it nearly impossible to be handed playing time with Chris Kaman and Joel Freeland in the picture.
While not set in stone, the 11th pick in the 2012 draft seems to be the frontrunner for Portland’s starting center this season. The 7-foot-1 Leonard may be pushed around at times as a rookie, like he was during Summer League, when he averaged 10.5 points (on 56 percent shooting), 8.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks over four contests. He should contribute boards, swats, an above average field goal percentage, fair free throw shooting, and the occasional double-double.
More Fantasy News
Ready to return from ankle injury
CMiami Heat
April 29, 2020
Leonard (ankle) indicated last week in an Instagram interview that he'll be ready to play if or when the NBA season resumes, Shandel Richardson of SI.com reports. "I'm feeling much, much better," Leonard said. "Obviously, I had an injury there right before the season was suspended. And it was bad. I think most people were aware of that."
ANALYSIS
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Nearly over ankle injury
CMiami Heat
Ankle
April 2, 2020
Leonard (ankle) said Thursday that he's been able to do footwork and agility work at home, and he estimated that he's about 90 percent healthy, Andre Fernandez of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Remains out
CMiami Heat
Ankle
March 10, 2020
Leonard (ankle) will remain out Wednesday against the Hornets.
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Remains out Sunday
CMiami Heat
Ankle
March 6, 2020
Leonard (ankle) didn't travel for this weekend's road trip to New Orleans and Washington.
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Out Friday
CMiami Heat
Ankle
March 5, 2020
Leonard (ankle) remains out for Friday's game against the Pelicans.
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