Canadian Leonard Miller is the Mystery Man of the 2022 NBA Draft


Leonard Miller is an intriguing NBA contender.

Leonard Miller is an intriguing NBA contender.
picture: Getty Images

The most enigmatic player of the 2022 NBA draft is here.

Leonard Miller is blank 247 sports and Rival Pages arightEa tribute to how little he’s been recruited or scouted until recently. his rivals recruitment page could just as easily be a ‘404 Not Found’ screen. He has no Rivals rating, no national rank, and his ranking among small forwards is zero. The only biography available lists him as a lanky, 6-foot-10, 210-pound forward playing at Toronto’s Fort Erie International Academy.

However, in the right corner of the screen I noticed that they tabulated that he has 10 offers and the fan projection predicts he will visit Kentucky. This must be a long scam. It’s not uncommon for a boisterous high school-athlete to attract attention by doing so create their own internet rumor mill.

Leonard Miller is such a mundane name that it would be difficult to figure out the trick on Google. He is a Top plastic surgeons in Boston, a Florida-based CEO and inductee into the Black Athletes Hall of Fame. There is four different Wikipedia pages for the prominent Leonard Millers.

On April 23, a Leonard Miller, who only played sparingly off the bench for Canada’s U16 national team in 2019, reported for the NBA draft. How does an unranked high school phenomenon from Canada get drafted without Drake in his entourage? If this were a sophisticated attention grabber, likely the next development would be the creation of a Twitter page that describes itself in the bio as “future NBA third-round pick.”

Fortunately, that’s not the case. Miller is the real deal and more. At 18, Leonard Miller would be one of the youngest players in the 2022 draft, but he spent a postgraduate year at Fort Erie International Academy. In a league populated by seasoned monoliths, Miller could be the next potential unicorn to dock on the NBA’s shores. Two years ago, he was an unranked 6-foot-4 guard at Toronto’s Victory Rock Prep Academy and light years away from being on the NBA’s radar.

However, a 6-inch growth spurt has propelled him to the highest levels of NBA discourse. A fringe member of Canada’s FIBA ​​Under-16 team in 2019, which advanced to the finals, Miller was a 6-foot-7 reserve who saw less than eight minutes of action per game. He did not appear in any of the four major rankings until On3 updated their 2022 player rankings to include him upon his appointment National Prep Invitational All-Tournament Team in February.

In November, TCU — where Leonard Miller’s brother Emmanuel is a junior — expressed the most serious interest. But after Leonard Miller recorded 11 points, sunk two threes, five rebounds, two blocks and a steal in 4-on-9 shooting against Team USA at the 2022 Nike Hoop Summit, the focus shifted to the first round of the NBA draft .

The basketball gods were generous to Miller. He’s a dodgy ball carrier, left-handed dominant but ambidextrous who’s grown to 6ft 11 and has a wingspan of 7ft 3 but still maneuvers like he’s a 6-foot-4 guard. During his postgraduate years at Fort Erie Academy in Ontario (CAN), Miller achieved average grades 33 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Miller looks like an NBA 2K created player starting the offense but is almost six feet away. His 7ft 3 wingspan allows him to hook passes over defense. Still, it’s lithe enough to grope in and out of lane or whip one-handed no-look passes to wide-open goalscorers with ease.

Mueller tells Forward looking insight that his NBA models were Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, James Harden, D’Angelo Russell and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. His jumping is still a little unorthodox, but his form is more refined than it was then He built brick mansions at the 2019 FIBA ​​U16 Tournament. By growing closer to the edge and using his lower body to drive up during his release, he’s a more accurate shooter.

“Although I’m ambidextrous, I’m naturally left-handed, so I watch James Harden a lot too. He often does my favorite shot, which is the step backwards, so he’s definitely someone I study on film and try to analyze what he’s doing. D’Angelo Russell is another left-hander I’ve always been attracted to. He has a certain swagger to his game that I like,” Miller said in November. “One fellow Canadian that I enjoy watching and think is a very smooth player and just doing what he’s doing at a high level is Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander].”

Defensively, Miller’s agility, lateral quickness and depth make him an immediate asset to any Switch-heavy defensive scheme. He was still attending colleges in April and is still considering going down the G-League Ignite route. North American prospects do not make it off the university’s radar for first round selection within two months. That’s usually reserved for Hoopers off the beaten path spotted overseas on the bench for a semi-pro B-League in Europe or Asia.

The thing about most unicorns is that they don’t all fit. For every tech unicorn that rises, venture capitalists pour equal amounts into belly flops. The principles that apply to venture capitalism can also be applied to the development of unicorn talent. NBA teams that invest in a unicorn spend years investing resources like shooting coaches, thousands of hours in the lab working on their game, and the patience to wait for a return on investment. Likewise, Leonard Miller could be either an advanced Giannis prototype runaway or the next Thon maker. Sometimes a unicorn is really just a horse with a calcified facial deformity.

Miller has the tools to evolve into a planet-destroying weapon on the wing, but first he must convince front offices that he is worthy of a first-round evaluation during the pre-draft evaluation period. Imagination must fill in the gaps where there is a black hole of information.

The scouts will spend the next few months digging up any information they can on Miller, consuming videos of him, chronicling his development, inviting him to practice and determining where his NBA readiness stands. Your imagination will have to stretch to see just how far its potential stretches.

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