T.J LEAF

BIRTHDATE: 4/30/97

POSITION: Power Forward

HEIGHT: 6'10"

WEIGHT: 225 lbs

SCHOOL/ TEAM: UCLA

CLASS: Freshman

OFFENSE

*Average height and length

*Thin frame with some room to add weight

*Sneaky good athlete who is skilled and moves well

*Effective running hard on the break as a finisher or trailing as a shooter

*Pretty easily finishes above the rim on drop offs/lobs

*Soft touch around the rim with both hands

*Can maneuver the paint in traffic

*Has great chemistry with Lonzo Ball as a cutter

*Fills the void the defense creates as it shifts around

*Recognizes when his opponent is ball watching and moves

*Good pursuit on the offensive glass and an excellent finisher on put backs

*Keeps the ball high when he gets it near the rim and is decisive

*Works himself open along the perimeter 

*Lethal spot up shooter from 3, also very good when he can step into his shot

*Consistent shot mechanics with a high release point

*Attacks closeouts at 3 levels. Can get to the rim, has a nice floater and can hit the one dribble pull up off the dribble

*Doesn’t make much contact on screens, slips early

*Is capable of PNP, rolling to the rim and catching a lob or operating in the middle of the floor on the short roll

*Has a quick first step and very effective driving to his left

*Can find the strong side shooter when he drives from the perimeter

*Equally proficient on both blocks, likes to turn over the left shoulder on either side

*Doesn’t establish strong post position, gets the ball and likes to back down for a dribble or two before he makes his move

*Soft touch on his jump hook

*Does a good recognizing the double and kicking it back out

*Protects the ball 

DEFENSE

*Doesn’t have the physical attributes of a great defender

*Fluid athlete but can’t shift gears well enough to stick with guards in space

*Gives a big cushion when guarding on the perimeter

*Stands too upright as a defender, gives up straight line drives to quicker guards

*Does a much better job sticking with bigs who try to isolate him

*Contests well on pull up jumpers

*Maintains good help defense positioning, sees man and ball most times

*Struggles to get through off ball screens

*Either sinks vs the PNR or does a light show on the ballhandler

*A little late switching from corralling ballhandler to closing out on PNP shooters 

*Doesn’t fight particularly hard for post position, can be sealed or pinned by stronger players

*Has sound post footwork and plays disciplined

*Doesn’t overreact to fakes and counters

*Times his contests very well and is a good on ball post shotblocker

KHAIRI AKILI - MARCH 15, 2017

TJ Leaf is a stud. He has good range is pretty much automatic from around 18-21 feet. He's sneaky athletic like David Lee and even has the same quick second jump. He's got great footwork in the post with dream shakes and reverse pivots. He finishes in traffic and has excellent touch. Leaf isn't afraid to bang on both sides of the glass. There really isn't much not to like about him. 

 

Leaf is going to have to stretch his range out to the NBA line. He will of course have to get stronger and improve is defense. He might not have the upside of a Harry Giles but Leaf looks like a pro for a very long time. 

 

4 with range

Good athlete/ sneaky athletic 

Second jumps

Very good footwork around the basket

Excellent touch around the basket

Bangs on both sides of the glass

Should be great in PNR from day 1

 

NBA range?

Strength 

Defense will need to improve. 

Upside?

 JAMES BARLOWE - JANUARY 16, 2017