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  1. #26
    Spurs Sage Russ's Avatar
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    Here's a ing classic quote that was so easy to find, because again, Kawhi was not this great young prospect with a high ceiling that people claim he was:

    "i'm not as high on leonard as some spur fans. i think he'll be an above average defender with the potential to be a pretty decent lock down defender. i still don't see him becoming an all star caliber offensive player though. hard to really find a NBA comparison for him though because he's not an explosive athlete like marion or iguodola, more talented than most average SFs, but not offensively talented enough to be a scoring SF like sjax. maybe he can be a more consistent john salmons."
    Some people knew on draft night 2011:

    This is the best draft night since Parker.

    (And it aint even done.)
    https://www.spurstalk.com/forums/sho...=1#post5319754

    https://www.spurstalk.com/forums/sho...=1#post5319625


    ,

  2. #27
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    Here's another classic, someone comparing MKG to Kawhi:

    "MKG is more explosive when attacking off the dribble. whose who don't think thats a huge advantage need to look at stars like westbrook, wade, lebron. guys who attack the basket with ferocity are budding stars. your jumper can improve, explosiveness is usually not taught"

    But nah, we should take your word for it. Kawhi was "different", you say. No single guy from the current young core has a high ceiling? Oh man, hilarious ...

  3. #28
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    More wonderful takes:

    I really love what Kawhi brings to the team, but I think some people's expectations of what he will become are unrealistic. Yes he was a huge steal in the draft and yes Pop has all but declared him the future of the franchise. But I don't think he is going to every turn into a deadly one on one scorer or NBA superstar. I think he is going to become a better defender and develop some more moves with the dribble but I see him as an Andre Iguodala or Danny Granger caliber player. He is going to be a very player who would start on just about any team, but I don't see him developing into a guy who could carry a team deep into the playoffs without significant help. So for now I say he needs to focus on using his physical gifts to become the elite defender we know he can be, and he needs to focus on what he can do to make the Spurs win now. Parker and Ginobili could have had more impressive individual careers if they had been playing for teams that didn't have a player as good as Duncan. They could have scored 25 a night every night if that is what the team needed them to do, but a team led by solely Tony Parker or solely Manu Ginobili would not have had a great chance of winning a championship. They developed their game in order to help the team win championships. And that is what Kawhi Leonard seems to be doing. Maximize the potential of the team, not the player.
    Star players aside,

    NO ONE is getting more love than Kawhi in the NBA, hes a very very very lucky player.

    He is playing for the best organization in professional sport in America. And he is getting ALL the attention of the organization.

    Every single piece of support from the coaching staff, every single piece of support from his mentor players, and every opportunity from the coach to display and hone those skills.

    SAS needs a new franchise player and they know they cant buy one or draft one (TD and Robinson were freakish drafts). They have to develop one. The season TD leaves i bet we will head for a bottom finish in the division.

    I just hope Kawhi does well, but atm im only seeing a solid roleplayer. And that isnt a franchise player like we need or hope and pray for.
    Please tell us your grand plan to build the team around Leonard.

    This should be good.
    In hindsight, you could argue the Spurs are stuck in that "good enough team not to tank/land a high pick but not good enough to win it all" position, but neither Kawhi or Splitter are the answer to get out of that situation, IMO.




    People are fickle. They go back and forth about players. Most of all, they never admit they were wrong about players. People wonder why I on spineless fans wanting the Spurs to tank. I look back, and see all the people on their knees for MKG because he was a top 5 pick. Even some who would prefer him over Kawhi. It shows so much about people and how impatient they are.

  4. #29
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    exstatic is right. We were hoping we had a Bowen clone.

  5. #30
    Believe. PrimeMinister's Avatar
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    Here's another classic, someone comparing MKG to Kawhi:

    "MKG is more explosive when attacking off the dribble. whose who don't think thats a huge advantage need to look at stars like westbrook, wade, lebron. guys who attack the basket with ferocity are budding stars. your jumper can improve, explosiveness is usually not taught"

    But nah, we should take your word for it. Kawhi was "different", you say. No single guy from the current young core has a high ceiling? Oh man, hilarious ...
    the main attribute Kawhi demonstrated that set him apart was his ability to come back after an offseason and there was some new layer to his game. Leaps year over year in awareness, especially offensively that he lacked early on his career, the ball handling developed to go along with his existing strength in the post.

    the next wrinkle before the Zaza injury would have been the playmaking we now see in LA.

    So far with our young guys, weíve seen DJ make similar leaps. Kawhi didnít have the ACL to contend with, but you can see a similar trajectory of improvement in Dejounte this year. Huge leap in offensive awareness and decision making, as well as improved touch at the rim and from mid range. If he continues this path of development toward his later 20s, he can also be a top 20 player.

    Keldon grew up last year and with a mini offseason between the end of the RS and bubble added strength, confidence, and really just got the opportunity to compete. This year heís been consistent with that tenacity, developed on the boards and with his ball handling, just needs to bring the 3 point shot home. I see that being a more finished project next year where he can start adding the mid range stop and pop that will take him from all star glue guy to number one option. Improvements have been made some in one on one defense, but still needs to hone instincts off ball and in driving lanes.

    Lonnie weíve seen stagnate a bit, but thereís still hope. He might have shown the most flashes of raw potential early on, I recall his rookie summer league or second year stint he showed some nice flashes of go to scoring capability. Hasnít improved on his finishing like we wanted to see this year, but has found a niche as one of our better spot up shooters. My biggest concern is defensively thereís been almost no movement. His development curve is flattening.

    Luka above all demonstrably changed his game from year 1 to 2. If he makes a similar leap from year 2 to year 3- we really start having the conversation about building around him as a future cornerstone.

    young players are always going to be projects. When you have 3 hall of fame players and a cast of veteran role players to ease a rookie in, their flaws donít seem so obvious or painful. Kawhi wasnít asked to create off the bounce until he was more than capable. Sure, we wanted him to shoot more and call his own number, but when it wasnít there he had the big 3. Look for the flashes, look for the physical tools and foundation, most importantly look for the leaps in development.

  6. #31
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    PrimeMinister

    Don't forget to add Vassell to the group.

    Each player is a roll of the dice.

    The Spurs happen to have 4+ guys that have a chance to have a breakthrough.

    I don't know about other people, but that's a good amount of players to bank on.

    People have already made up their minds on the ceilings of some of these players. To those people: simply look at the takes Spurs fans had about Kawhi. I'd argue one, two, or three still has a chance to become something special.

    Of course, they could bust too. My issue is with those people whose minds are made up and think we don't have a chance to move forward without a star. Newsflash: there's a chance there's one on the roster right now. You're just too blind to see it.

  7. #32
    Chopper Ed Helicopter Jones's Avatar
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    Wasn't arguing that. Just bewildered by the fact people are playing revisionist history with Kawhi's first three years as if it was known he'd reach his current ceiling. There was maybe a 5% of fans who actually believed that. An overwhelming majority of Spurs fans didn't see it coming. There were a lot of doubts about his ability to reach this level. This is coming from someone who followed Kawhi very closely.

    And people are using THAT to downplay the group of young guys we have. I'm like, " , you didn't even think Kawhi would be this good. Don't play it off like you did. Why the should we believe you and your assessment of talent?"
    Having watched Kawhi in college I always thought he'd be good, and thought he might be in the conversation for DPOY and the all-star game once he hit his prime, but I didn't have "Top 5" NBA player in head when he was drafted. Honestly I doubt anyone did, beyond Kawhi.

  8. #33
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    Having watched Kawhi in college I always thought he'd be good, and thought he might be in the conversation for DPOY and the all-star game once he hit his prime, but I didn't have "Top 5" NBA player in head when he was drafted. Honestly I doubt anyone did, beyond Kawhi.
    Kawhi's bound to have his supporters from the start. Merely addressing the guys who are acting as if Kawhi's first few years in the league was special. They're saying he was "different" than the players we have now. If that was true, you wouldn't have people saying the outrageous stuff I posted earlier in this thread.

  9. #34
    Veteran Spursfanfromafar's Avatar
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    Ha, 2011-13. Good ol' days. I remember saying here that the ceiling for Kawhi was Scottie Pippen and folks laughing at me. 10 years down the line, Kawhi's ceiling has already crossed Pippen.
    Last edited by Spursfanfromafar; 4 Weeks Ago at 12:32 PM. Reason: Link, corrected year

  10. #35
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    Ha, 2011. Good ol' days. I remember saying here that the ceiling for Kawhi was Scottie Pippen and folks laughing at me. 10 years down the line, Kawhi's ceiling has already crossed Pippen.
    I'm saying Keldon's ceiling is Barkley and people are laughing at me. Hoping it comes true. Fingers crossed.

  11. #36
    Chopper Ed Helicopter Jones's Avatar
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    Kawhi's bound to have his supporters from the start. Merely addressing the guys who are acting as if Kawhi's first few years in the league was special. They're saying he was "different" than the players we have now. If that was true, you wouldn't have people saying the outrageous stuff I posted earlier in this thread.
    Very true.

  12. #37
    Believe. south side spur's Avatar
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    I'm saying Keldon's ceiling is Barkley and people are laughing at me. Hoping it comes true. Fingers crossed.
    What about Vassell’s ceiling? Ray Allen?

  13. #38
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    What about Vassell’s ceiling? Ray Allen?
    Probably Khris Middleton.

  14. #39
    Veteran Spursfanfromafar's Avatar
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    I'm saying Keldon's ceiling is Barkley and people are laughing at me. Hoping it comes true. Fingers crossed.
    I love Keldon's motor and his hard work, but he has a long way to go to become a star let alone a Barkley. He has to work on 1) Better ball handling and craftier finishing in the paint, 2) Quicker release on his shot and 3 point accuracy, 3) better understanding of help defense in the immediate to lift his game to become a difference maker, first. Then he can become a sure-fire starter and a 20 point scorer and later he can dream of being an all-star. As things stand, he has quite a way to go to scale these peaks first.

  15. #40
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    I love Keldon's motor and his hard work, but he has a long way to go to become a star let alone a Barkley. He has to work on 1) Better ball handling and craftier finishing in the paint, 2) Quicker release on his shot and 3 point accuracy, 3) better understanding of help defense in the immediate to lift his game to become a difference maker, first. Then he can become a sure-fire starter and a 20 point scorer and later he can dream of being an all-star. As things stand, he has quite a way to go to scale these peaks first.
    Of course lmao. I'm not delusional about his progress. I didn't say he was there or anywhere close (and odds are he likely won't make it). It's where I think he can take his game. That's all.

    All my point was is that you can take your post, re-write a few words to focus more on offensive critiques, and say the same thing about Kawhi during his first few years. Kawhi was far from Pippen's level early on his career. To say otherwise is revisionist history.

  16. #41
    Veteran Spursfanfromafar's Avatar
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    Of course lmao. I'm not delusional about his progress. I didn't say he was there or anywhere close. It's where I think he can take his game. That's all.

    All my point was is that you can take your post, re-write a few words to focus more on offensive critiques, and say the same thing about Kawhi during his first few years. Kawhi was far from Pippen's level early on his career. To say otherwise is revisionist history.
    Yeah, I agree with you to some extent, but only to some extent.

    There was something to Kawhi's game that showcased his ultimate rise to supers om very early in his career - his other-wordly defense from the get-go as a player, his wingspan making him a terror not just one-on-one but on passing lanes and help defense and his very high IQ even as a support player on offense. All his advanced Stats pointed to a very high ceiling in just his first two seasons.

    Keldon, on the other hand, oozes more potential than actual production in the NBA so far. His work ethic, high energy, infectious enthusiasm (marking him as a very team-oriented player), physicality are all good tools that he has, but his skillset needs significant advancement for him to be spoken of as a potential new age Barkley. Lets wait for at least this season to end to see where he is headed.

  17. #42
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    Yeah, I agree with you to some extent, but only to some extent.

    There was something to Kawhi's game that showcased his ultimate rise to supers om very early in his career - his other-wordly defense from the get-go as a player, his wingspan making him a terror not just one-on-one but on passing lanes and help defense and his very high IQ even as a support player on offense. All his advanced Stats pointed to a very high ceiling in just his first two seasons.

    Keldon, on the other hand, oozes more potential than actual production in the NBA so far. His work ethic, high energy, infectious enthusiasm (marking him as a very team-oriented player), physicality are all good tools that he has, but his skillset needs significant advancement for him to be spoken of as a potential new age Barkley. Lets wait for at least this season to end to see where he is headed.
    It's easy to say what you're saying because you were an early supporter and unlike the many people here who said the opposite (and will pretend they didn't). It's also easy to say these things because we're looking in hindsight.

    All you have to look at are the posts by Spurs fans I posted earlier and easily see that what you're saying wasn't popular opinion.

  18. #43
    Veteran Spursfanfromafar's Avatar
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    It's easy to say what you're saying because you were an early supporter and unlike the many people who said the opposite. It's also easy to say these things because we're looking in hindsight.
    No, I am just saying this because I am using the same yardstick that I used to judge Kawhi then to judge Keldon now. Check some later posts by me in the same thread, where I used Bkref's player comparison tools to compare the early careers of Kawhi/ Marion & Kawhi /Pippen to arrive at my conclusion. Unfortunately bkref has paywalled this tool, but a quick look at 538's Raptor ratings for Keldon suggests how far the gulf is for Keldon to cross to even think of all-NBA comparisons from the past.

  19. #44
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    No, I am just saying this because I am using the same yardstick that I used to judge Kawhi then to judge Keldon now. Check some later posts by me in the same thread, where I used Bkref's player comparison tools to compare the early careers of Kawhi/ Marion & Kawhi /Pippen to arrive at my conclusion. Unfortunately bkref has paywalled this tool, but a quick look at 538's Raptor ratings for Keldon suggests how far the gulf is for Keldon to cross to even think of all-NBA comparisons from the past.
    I don't know what else to say, bro. You're missing the point here. It's not being addressed towards people like you who were avid supporters and did their research.

    It wasn't popular opinion. Bottom-line.

  20. #45
    Veteran Spursfanfromafar's Avatar
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    I don't know what else to say, bro. You're missing the point here. It's not being addressed towards people like you who were avid supporters and did their research.

    It wasn't popular opinion. Bottom-line.
    I get your point, yes. I am not addressing the naysayers. I am just talking about tempering your expectations of Keldon for a while. Its great for us to be excited about a wonderful young talent like Keldon to be playing for the Spurs, but lets not get ahead and make comparisons that don't exist now, so early in his career, when he has much to do to maximise his potential first.

  21. #46
    Veteran Dejounte's Avatar
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    Sent as a PM instead.
    Last edited by Dejounte; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:10 PM.

  22. #47
    The Great Eight Ocotillo's Avatar
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    PrimeMinister

    Don't forget to add Vassell to the group.
    The only reason he would be left out of PMs post is I think he was talking about off-season growth and Vassell has not had an off-season yet. I posted earlier about all of the young guys benefiting from a summer to work on what they need to work on and Vassell will be one of the more interesting players to watch in that regard since he has stepped in and immediately become part of the rotation.

  23. #48
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    I agree Covid season has negatively impacted a lot of players growth for sure it will be nice to get back to where coaches can actually interact with players when coaching them. I am really excited for Chip and other Coaches to get hands on with Vassell I am hoping to see a nice bump up in all of his stats

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