Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Leslie Cut by Clippers

The Clippers never were a good fit for Travis. Leslie was a high-flyer on a team that didn't need his skills. They already have Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan to catch lobs, plus a slew of other guards to throw 'em.

I suppose that the question is whether any NBA team is a fit for Leslie. Does Travis Leslie have NBA talent?

Leslie is a guy with pretty good speed straight ahead and excellent athleticism up and down. What he has lacked is the side to side quickness and the handle to get around guys.

Some will attribute Leslie being cut to his decision to leave school early. But the fact is that another year with Coach Fox was not going to help his game. Although Fox has a reputation for developing players, in reality our guards played worse last year than the year before. Dustin Ware went from 44 percent in field goal percentage in 2010 to 34 percent in 2011. Gerald Robinson fell off from 44 percent to 43. Brantley managed to go from a paltry 31 percent shooting to 25. Similar story for three-point shooting and assists.

Shucks, Leslie could have injured himself a la Marcus Lattimore. Besides, chances are that Leslie had more of a chance to showcase his skills playing with Trey Thompkins than he would have had running with Marcus Thornton or Donte Williams at the power forward for last year's 15 and 17 squad. I don't begrudge Leslie for bolting to the pro's when he had the chance. Would have loved to see him in the red and black one more year, but after all, it is his career.

The issue going forward for Leslie is how to move that career forward now that he has been cut at the last possible second prior to the season. Other teams have pared their roster down. They're likely not looking to add a player at this point.

Couple of options: Leslie could go play internationally, or he could look for a good D-League team, one on which he can play every night and get better. Although international teams are paying a lot of money these days and Leslie is young enough to enjoy time overseas, I'd probably pick the D-League route, at least for now.

Several NBA guards will not stick this year, either through injury or bad decisions or something else. Leslie has to keep his head in the game, get good counsel from family and other advisors, and be ready.

Good luck, Travis.


1 comment:

Mr. Sanchez said...

He caught on in the D League, as the Santa Cruz Warriors made him a top draft pick. I'd say he should give it a go there for a year, see if he can catch on with someone, or if not, then make a move overseas. But one more year isn't a bad idea to keep chasing the dream.