Leaf is one of the most offensively gifted players in the entire country, and has the entire offensive package. He has an array of post moves that he can utilize in the paint, but he can also stretch out the defense with his perimeter shooting. Leaf is shooting an unbelievable 62.6% from the field and 44.7% from 3-point range. He has failed to reach double digits in scoring in only two games this season. He has formed quite the connection with fellow freshman Lonzo Ball, and has been incredibly efficient. He will be able to contribute on the offensive end right away as a perfect stretch four guy.
Leaf is an outstanding rebounder at power forward. He establishes great position when it comes to attacking the boards, but he also has a knack for getting the 50-50 balls. He is averaging 8.8 rebounds on the season, and has 11 double doubles. He shows tremendous effort when attacking the glass, which often leads to extra possessions for the Bruins.
Jan 19, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins forward TJ Leaf (22) drives against the defense of Arizona State Sun Devils guard Shannon Evans II (11) in the second half at Pauley Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Although not considered a poor athlete, he doesn’t rank as high in athleticism when it comes to some of the other prospects in this draft. Although he shows signs of toughness and physicality, the NBA will be a completely different animal for Leaf.
Leaf is an outstanding offensive player, but not nearly as great on the defensive end. He doesn’t show great lateral movement, and can often struggle against more athletic opponents (Jordan Bell of Oregon for example). He puts so much of his emphasis and energy on the offensive end, that he doesn’t always compete as hard on the defensive end.
Leaf is going to be a solid offensive player and rebounder in the NBA. He will be a fantastic stretch four. He is top five in scoring and rebounding in the Pac 12. Although a great offensive player, he isn’t nearly as great on the defensive end. He may not be destined for stardom like other players in this draft, but he will be a solid contributor for a team who needs some scoring help. I expect Leaf to be a mid first round selection.