Leuer's numbers don't jump off the page at anyone. He averages just 1.8 points and 1.3 boards in 19 games played in Memphis this past season. This was the worst season of his three-year career. As a rookie in Milwaukee, Leuer actually started in 12 games and averaged five points. Unfortunately, his numbers have decreased each year. Some of the drop is a function of decreased playing time, as his per 40 minute averages are decent. This year he averaged 12 points per 40 minutes and eight rebounds. In comparison, Darrell Arthur averages 14 points per 40 and only seven rebounds, but Leuer costs a third of what the Grizzlies would have had to pay Arthur. Arthur also shot a much lower percentage from the field, while Leuer shot 50 percent. Defensively, both players are limited, but Memphis allowed three fewer points per 100 possessions with Leuer on the court compared to Arthur on the court. Leuer doesn't possess the athleticism Arthur has, but he plays just as well if not better.
Leuer showed a flash of effectiveness in a late regular season game against the bobcats. He came in during the fourth quarter and scored 11 straight points for the Grizzlies with a barrage of long jumpers and some free throws. He hit every shot he took and played good defense.
The knock on Leuer has always been his rebounding and athleticism. The rebounding will come with more experience and strength put on during the offseason. In regards to his athleticism, he does a pretty good job of making up for his lack of athleticism with smarts on the court, similar to Marc Gasol. He puts himself in good spots on the floor on defense, but he still is forced to foul a bit to often. The effort is there defensively; he just needs to add a little bit of speed and strength.
Offensively, Leuer can be extremely valuable. He stretches the floor and shoots a great percentage on long twos, a skill that could come in handy with Mike Conley running pick and rolls. He could open up the floor for the two Grizzly big men to operate inside. Perhaps, he could even develop a reliable three-point jumper to fill a hole Memphis desperately needs filled. Additionally, he does a pretty good job of finishing at the rim, but he rarely draws fouls. If he polishes his game, he could be a great value at around $1 million a year.
Season Grade: B+
Tags: Basketball, Jon Leuer, Memphis, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA