First Look at Leonard Miller
April 26th, 2022
By Alan Lu
Recently, 6-9 forward, Leonard Miller from Canada decided to enter the 2022 NBA Draft after turning in a strong showing at the Nike Hoop Summit, and he will be one of the youngest players in the draft if he stays in. His draft stock has been on the rise, and he could legitimately be a first round pick if he decides to keep his name in the draft pool. Therefore, I decided to take the time to watch Leonard Miller play for Fort Erie International Academy against United Scholastic Academy in a March 6th game, with thanks to YouTube via OSBA TV. He played fairly well, as he really showcased his athleticism, motor, as well as his versatility and upside to help his team become the 2022 OSBA Champions.
Leonard Miller is a very athletic, combo forward that played fairly well on both ends of the floor. He showed off versatile scoring skills, and he also rebounded and defended well to help his team get the victory.
Miller showed a decent ability to knock down jumpers to provide floor spacing for his team on offense. He showed a knack for making open, spot-up threes, and he was able to make a couple from way out. He also moved off the ball, and used a jab step move to make one from well beyond the arc. He also did a decent job of using dribble moves to score on pull-up, mid-range jumpers. Sometimes though, he would be streaky with his jump shot, and he especially struggled to make pull-up threes in this game.
He also would often look to score on hustle plays. Miller particularly thrived at scoring on backdoor cuts, and he is an agile player that showed good balance and body control to finish plays around the basket. He was able to score off of a back cut. He also managed to cut to the hoop on a misdirection play to get the ball, and he then dribbled in to score on a fadeaway jumper while taking on some contact. He also managed to use a hesitation move to score on a drive in transition, and he also was able to score on a couple of tip-ins. He nearly threw down a tremendous dunk attempt on the break. However, sometimes Miller would rush himself and play too wildly, which would lead him to miss shots on fast breaks and off of put backs.
He also showed an adequate ability to score in the post as well as off the dribble. Miller was able to drive to his left to score off the glass. He also used a spin move to score on a turnaround, fadeaway jumper from the post. Sometimes though, he would struggle to find his shooting touch, and he also was called for an offensive foul in an attempt to create separation between himself and a defender on another drive to the hoop.
Also, Miller displayed fairly average playmaking skills. He is a fleet-footed forward that can pass and handle the basketball, and he would sometimes bring the ball up. He can throw passes off the dribble and on the break, and he would sometimes throw solid interior passes to find open teammates on the move. He also would set on-ball screens to help his teammates get open jump shots and driving lanes. On the other hand, Miller was also quite turnover prone in this game. He would sometimes struggle to handle the ball when pressured, which would lead him prone to committing ball-handling turnovers, especially when he would try to break the press in the backcourt. He also threw an ill-advised, inaccurate jump pass into traffic after driving to the hoop that ended up sailing out of bounds.
Plus, Miller did a great job of rebounding the basketball. He would often get defensive boards, and he also managed to get a couple of offensive rebounds to help his team on the glass. He also would sometimes bring the ball up and push it up the court off of defensive boards. He also would dive on the ground and tip balls to help his team get additional defensive rebounds. Every once in a while though, he would forget to box out, and he would sometimes allow opponents to get offensive boards in his area instead.
In addition, Miller played satisfactory defense in this game. He would tend to play in zones defensively, but he is a rangy defender that can get numerous blocks and steals to help his team on that side of the ball. He would rotate to block shots to help his team protect the paint, and Miller showed that he can operate well as a weak-side shot blocker. He also was able to aggressively rotate to defend an opposing ball handler as he swiped a ball away to get a steal, jumped a pass to get another, and he also dove on the ground for a loose ball to help his team get another steal. He would actively play passing lanes to get steals and deflections. He also would use his length and quickness to contest shots both out on the perimeter as well as in the paint to force misses, and he also applied ball pressure to help indirectly force a passing turnover another time. Sometimes though, he would take bad angles when defending screens, and he would be too aggressive in trying to make plays, which would put his team in scramble situations and to allowing baskets.
Overall, Leonard Miller is a very athletic combo forward that has a variety of skills that makes him an intriguing prospect for NBA teams to consider in the 2022 draft. He’s not exactly a polished prospect, and he will need to show NBA teams that he can consistently play well at higher levels. He will need to go to an NBA team that has a sound system and developmental structure in place that will enable him to grow and develop at his own speed. He is a talented prospect that may have a considerable deal of upside, and he could end up being a similar player to Oklahoma City Thunder’s forward, Darius Bazley in the NBA.