FanPost

Jon Leuer as the next Suns' stretch 4?

What would Jon Leuer bring to the Suns' PF spot?

Channing Frye's departure to greener pastures, Suns' draft strategy and other offseason developments have left the Suns with a lack of quality options at the PF position. The market seems to be thin for quality power forwards, especially the kind of stretch-4s that Frye was. Bosh has decided to stay in Miami, Love is hard to get, Gasol seems to be close to Chicago, Gibson is likely staying in Chicago after they've decided to amnesty Boozer, and there aren't that many other "obvious" PFs who can provide quality spacing.

So unless the Suns manage to pull off a trade for Love or decide change their gameplan and bring in a quality PF who won't provide much spacing, they'll have to take a risk on some less-known PF to complement Markieff Morris at the PF spot.

I've already written (http://www.brightsideofthesun.com/2014/6/10/5797668/analysing-possible-upgrades-at-the-pf-spot-with-advanced-stats-part-1) that Tristan Thompson could, with some hard work over the summer and in the future, be an interesting gamble to take for the foreseeable future.

Another interesting player for the Suns could be Jon Leuer, currently a Memphis Grizzly.

MY GENERAL IMPRESSION AFTER SOME BASIC ANALYSIS

Analysis of any player who has been a back-up is a tricky task due to a small sample size, especially if one is trying to ascertain how the player wouldd fare with increased minutes, including playing some of those minutes against NBA starters. Having said that, I would like the Suns to take a risk and bring Jon Leuer on board if they fail in their pursuit of Kevin Love or other more sure options.

The biggest positive I see is that he'd provide good spacing. He shot 46.9% from the 3pt land this year from 49 attempts. Admittedly, a small sample size, but nevertheless noticeable. Also, he has shot a respectable 38% from beyond 16 feet (but not 3pt) and 42% from 10-16 feet range. In his last two college years, he shot (from the college 3pt line) 39.1% and 36.7% percent, so his long-range doesn't seem to be a fluke.

In his limited playing time, he has been a good rebounder with a good total rebounding percentage and percentage of grabbed contested rebounds, even when compared to some other, more known power forwards.

He seems to be not only a good spot-up shooter, but also good on the P'n'R and in transition, so two facets of offense very important for the Suns. He seems to have decent handles and passing for a guy of his size.

His defense doesn't seem to be too bad, but he's not a good or a great defender yet. Some of that can hopefully be attributed to lack of adequate playing time and exeprience in the NBA and that he has bounced through 3 NBA teams in 3 years, going through several defensive systems without continuity. I haven't seen any comments indicating he'd lack energy or effort on the defensive end.

He seems to have good basketball IQ and is a hard worker. After being drafted by the Bucks, he played for some time in Germany and then in the D-League before coming back to the NBA to Cleveland, so he's Tucker-esque in his experience of how hard it is to stay and get into the NBA.

He had some great games, including a December 2013 game against the Suns, where he scored 23 points, grabbed 9 rebounds and posted 3 blocks. Video included below. A month later, he had a 23pts 8rbds game vs the Pistons, and

One of the questions is how much the Grizzlies would demand for him, given that they've recently released Ed Davis, fellow Grizzly PF, leaving Leuer as the back-up to Zach Randolph. However, if he could be had for a relatively good bargain, I'd be in favour of seeing what he can do in our system in the next two years.

I do hope our staff writers will be able to contact the staff writers at the Grizzlies blog and gather more information on him, and thus provide a more detailed analysis.

GENERAL

Player profile at http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/6452/jon-leuer and http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/l/leuerjo01.html .

He's 25 years old, 6' 10'', 228 lbs and has been in the NBA for 3 seasons. He has played in 49 games for a total of 642 minutes, or 13.1 minutes per game, averaging 6.2 ppg and 3.2 rpg. He's due to make just under 1m$ this year, and the Grizzlies will have a team option for 15/16, the last year on his contract, where he'll make slightly over 1m$ - http://hoopshype.com/salaries/memphis.htm .

SHOOTING

According to info from basketball-reference.com, here is his shooting breakdown by distance compared to some other players:

Distance in feet

(# of FGA)

2pt overall fg%

0-3

3-10

10-16

16+ (not 3pt)

3pt

Leuer

49.7%

65.6%

47.9%

42.1%

38.0%

46.9%

Frye

50.9%

61.5%

45.8%

54.7%

45.0%

37.0%

Love

50.2%

66.9%

41.2%

35.4%

40.0%

37.6%

Gibson

48.3%

63.8%

35.6%

39.9%

39.7%

/

Ibaka

54.6%

73.1%

38.1%

49.0%

45.7%

38.3%

Morris

51.2%

65.8%

40.1%

47.8%

42.9%

31.5%

His shooting can also be analysed through his shot-chart, available at http://stats.nba.com/playerShotchart.html?PlayerID=202720 .

SOME OTHER ASPECTS OF OFFENSE

Stats per mysynergysports.com

Offense

Isolation ppp&rank

Post-Up ppp&rank

p&r roll man ppp&rank

Spot-Up

ppp&rank

Cut

ppp&rank

Transition

ppp&rank

Morris

0.77(137)

0.94(39)

1.19(14)

0.92(203)

1.29(56)

1.27(51)

Frye

0.96(35)

0.95(34)

1.18(17)

0.97(161)

/

1.1(172)

Love

0.8(122)

0.92(44)

1.12(31)

1.06(101)

1.32(46)

1.29(43)

Ibaka

0.75(147)

0.85(81)

1.07(47)

0.92(203)

1.36(32)

1.31(34)

Gibson

0.49(209)

0.78(117)

0.84(130)

0.95(178)

1.19(108)

1.16(132)

Leuer

0.89(/)

0.77(128)

1.02 (73)

0.99(145)

1.17(123)

1.43(11)

REBOUNDING

One of the key weaknesses of the Suns last year was the rebounding. How did Leuer fare in this regard this year?

According to basketball-reference.com (Total rebound percentage is an estimate of the percentage of available rebounds a player grabbed while he was on the floor):

Player

Total rebounding percentage (TRB%)

Leuer

14.6%

Gibson

13.5%

Morris

12.6%

Frye

10.1%

Love

18.7%

Ibaka

15%

According to stats.nba.com – Rebounding opportunities:

Rebounding Opportunities:The number of times player was within the vicinity (3.5 ft) of a rebound. Measures the number of rebounds a player recovers compared to the number of rebounding chances available as well as whether or not the rebound was contested by an opponent or deferred to a teammate.

Player

GP

Percentage of rebounds per chance

Contested REB Percentage

Kevin Love (MIN)

77

66.1%

38.9%

Serge Ibaka (OKC)

81

61.5%

44.0%

Channing Frye (PHX)

82

56.4%

32.7%

Jon Leuer (MEM)

49

50.8%

35.4%

Taj Gibson (CHI)

82

57.9%

39.6%

Markieff Morris (PHX)

81

58.8%

36.9%

SOME ASPECTS OF DEFENSE

Defense

(ppp

allowed)

Isolation ppp&rank

Post-Up ppp&rank

p&r roll man ppp&rank

Spot-Up

ppp&rank

Gibson

0.82(134)

0.83(117)

0.83(43)

0.92(117)

Morris

0.98(254)

0.7(38)

0.8(31)

0.88(74)

Frye

0.94(229)

0.83(117)

0.81(37)

1.05(275)

Love

0.77(93)

0.72(44)

0.94(78)

0.94(149)

Ibaka

0.81(123)

0.85(129)

0.8(31)

0.97(187)

Leuer

0.57(/)

1.05(256)

1 (92)

1.04(270)

SOME OTHER ADVANCED STATS

Per http://bkref.com/tiny/4c64v

BLK%

TS%

FT%

ORtg

DRtg*

PER

Real +/-***

Gibson

3.7%

52.4%

75.1%

102

100

16.0

4.14

Morris

1.8%

56.4%

79.2%

111

106

18.4

-0.01

Frye

2.1%

55.5%

82.1%

111

107

13.2

5.12

Love

1.0%

59.1%

82.1%

120

104

26.9

5.08

Ibaka

6.7%

57.6%

78.4%

115

102

19.6

4.60

Leuer

1.7%

56.6%

78.7%

112

103

17.6

-2.24

*Lower is better

*** per ESPN.com

SOME ARTICLES & VIDEOS

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3YG8B0mdVE – 23pts, 9rbds, 3blks against Suns, Dec 2013

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGAwKYAIhgM – 23pts, 8rbds against Pistons, Jan 2014

http://www.grizzlybearblues.com/2013/12/30/5227746/revisiting-the-infamous-jon-leuer-trade-to-the-memphis-grizzlies

http://www.chatsports.com/memphis-grizzlies/a/Grizzlies-elect-not-to-extend-qualifying-offer-to-Ed-Davis-1-10036696

http://www.nbadraft.net/players/jon-leuer



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