With the NBA season about to start, the Indiana Pacers have set their final roster.
T.J. Leaf fell victim to preseason roster moves after being traded by the Indiana Pacers and cut by the OKC Thunder. That being said I think his NBA career is on its last leg or over completely. The former 18th overall pick is on his way out of the league only three years later, so let’s take a stroll down memory lane and a painful memory lane at that.
There isn’t much to talk about when it comes to T.J. Leaf‘s tenure in Indiana. After being the 18th pick in 2017 he went on to average 3.3 points, 2 rebounds, 0.3 assists on 49/34/57 shooting splits. What great stats for the 18th pick right? Wrong.
When he played due to being given a chance to prove himself or just being thrown in the lineup due to injury, he never stuck. It was like throwing a greased up dumbbell at a wall and expecting it to stick (a weird comparison I know, but accurate). It was starting to be seen that he was a product of playing alongside Lonzo Ball at UCLA.
T.J. Leaf was a good person and character to be enjoyed by the fans, but his production on the court just didn’t warrant him any playing time. ‘Can it get worse?’, you may ask, yes it can.
The drafting of T.J. Leaf starts to hurt a lot more when you look at who was selected after him. Those selections including John Collins, Jarrett Allen, OG Anunoby, Kyle Kuzma, and many other solid players. If Indiana selected a better rookie we never know what the future of the team would be like, it probably wouldn’t be the same team we’ve grown to love today.
The pick wasn’t the end of the world like many believe. Also, Kevin Pritchard doesn’t deserve all the hate he gets for the pick, there is a whole team of people in the front office working on draft prep, he didn’t just blindly go to the draft war room and pick T.J. Leaf.
With it looking like it’s going to end up with Leaf on a European team, I wish nothing but the best for him and hope he can find some success wherever he winds up.