Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Travis Leslie Stays in NBA Draft, I Hope This Works Out For Him

There is no doubting Travis Leslie's athleticism

Travis Leslie said today that he will officially be entering the NBA Draft, ending his career at Georgia.  I, along with rest of Bulldog Nation, enjoyed watching Leslie play.  His athleticism led to many highlight reel dunks, and his floor game improved tremendously under the tutelage of Mark Fox.  He became an above average midrange jump shooter and was a hard-nosed rebounder, especially on the offensive glass.  I know I sound like bitter Dawg fan, but I don't think this is a smart move by Leslie.  He could've used another year in college.

The biggest knock on his game is his outside shooting, which is kind of a big deal since he will have to play the two in the League, due to the fact he's only 6-4.  His ball handling needs major improvement as well.  I think he is a very good player, but there are many very good players who don't pan out in the Association. 

Keep in mind, in the NBA, only 1st round drat picks are guaranteed contracts.  Most every NBA mock draft has Leslie as a 2nd rounder at best, which means he will have to fight hard for a roster spot, or live down low in the D-League.  Other mock drafts like this great one had Leslie as a 2nd rounder NEXT YEAR.  Leslie has improved so much in his last two years, that I believe he could have improved his status and possibly have made himself a lock for a guaranteed contract with one more year of college.  

On the other hand, maybe his status will improve with superstars like Jared Sullinger and Harrison Barnes coming back to school , who knows?  I think this quote from his mother describes the situation best, "He just decided to stay in and take his chances."

If there's one thing everyone can agree on, it's the fact that he's taking a HUGE risk here. 

What do you think?  Should he have stayed in college or is the Draft the right move?


  1. Agree, agree, agree. He should have stayed due to the lack of a consistent outside jumper. His shot is flat, his form is jerky at times, and he has trouble creating his own shot off the dribble with the lack of a second move like a step back jumper, in and out crossover, or something else to free himself. He is easily one of the best "athletes" in the draft, but there is a good chance he could really struggle in workouts, and be a second rounder all the way. At best, he slips into the LATE first round, but if he came back and the Dawgs went to the tournament again, then winning makes everybody's game look better, and his needed a beauty upgrade!

  2. Obviously Travis Leslie is wayyyyy better than D.A. Layne, but this reminds me of his situation. I'm just afraid that one or two guys are giving him bad information about his draft stock. Nate, do you think the impending lockout has anything to do with this? Could he be afraid about waiting until next year to enter?

  3. I think the lockout is definitely a concern, but I would guess that he knows he has holes in his game that can continue to be dissected, and if he stays, he may continue to be less an "athlete" and more of an unskilled player, or a player without a true position. Sadly, I would bet that is the advice he is getting. Right now he is borderline 1st round, he could really drop possibly into the second round if he came back and still could not shoot or drive. That being said, I think he should have stayed and REALLY worked on his game!