June 24, 2017, 3:17 pm
T.J. Leaf was drafted with he 18th pick in the 2017 NBA draft by the Indiana Pacers, the same team that drafted his father in 1982.
However, the Pacers let his father go in training camp before the first preseason game, but he did have a successful 17-year career playing pro basketball in Israel. Hopefully T.J. can stay in the league a little longer than his old man. The UCLA power forward averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks in his first and only year at college. While he has a slim frame that may not yet be ready for the NBA, Leaf has a wide range of skills he will be able to use to compensate for that in the interim. He shot 46.6 percent from deep at college and would be a great partner for the blossoming Myles Turner as the Pacers appear to be preparing for life without Paul George. Pacers president Kevin Pritchard said “We feel like we got a top-10 pick in this kid, and when you’re picking 18, that’s pretty good. Whatever his ceiling is as a player, he’s going to get there.”