July 10, 2016, 12:57 pm
The Vertical reported on Sunday that the Blazers and restricted free agent Meyers Leonard have agreed to a four-year, $41 million deal.
This is just a brutal blow for Leonard’s agent, assuming you believe the report out of New Orleans that indicated Leonard turned down a four-year, $60 million extension in October of last year. Indeed, there is enough smoke around that fire to at least give the report credibility, and the Blazers went from being high on Leonard to being tepid, which of course was escalated by early injuries and confidence that fell off a cliff.
Leonard was then miscast at power forward and schematically he was eschewed for the young backcourt and Mason Plumlee high post game. Rebounding-wise he looked terrible as he regularly boxed out thin air and watched other players clean the glass. It’s unclear what the Blazers plan to do with him other than give him token minutes at the four now that Festus Ezeli has been brought in. Leonard can’t defend the four and his inside presence was practically nil last season.
He needs to improve his coordination and awareness so hopefully now that this deal is signed both he and the organization can get on the same page with his role and deployment. There’s some unique talent sitting in there, but he has to do a total 180 on how he approaches the game of basketball.