Detroit Pistons Draft Dreams: Travis Leslie


With draft picks like Rodney Stuckey and Terrico White, Joe Dumars has shown that he likes guards who are strong and athletic. Travis Leslie might be among the most athletic players in this year’s draft. Also, he said and then didn’t say that he was better than Tony Allen.


Measurables: 6-foot-4, 205 pounds,  junior G from Georgia

Key stats: 14.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.2 steals per game while shooting 49 percent

Projected: Late first/early second round

How would he help the Pistons?

As I’ve mentioned throughout this series, the Pistons are not an athletic team with the exception of a couple of players and I won’t spend many words explaining what Leslie would bring to the table in that department. Just watch:

It’s safe to say Leslie and White would make practices more entertaining with their leaping ability. But he’s not just a dunking machine. Leslie has a good work ethic and has an outstanding rebounding average for a guard. His 49 percent shooting also shows that his shot selection is generally pretty good, and his finishing ability is obvious.

How wouldn’t he help the Pistons?

The Pistons don’t need more guards. But they didn’t really need more guards last year when they selected White in the second round. Dumars picked White because he was a first round talent who fell, and although Leslie may not fall to the second round, if he were on the board when the Pistons pick early in that round, he’d be hard to pass up even if he doesn’t fill an immediate need.

What are others saying?

From DraftExpress:

"Defensively, Leslie has all the tools to be successful on the NBA level, even if he is undersized. He shows active hands and solid lateral quickness, making him quite a pest in the college game. At this juncture, he needs to gain experience guarding the perimeter full time, as he still spends some time defending power forwards depending on who UGA is matching up with. With additional coaching, Leslie should become a very solid individual and team defender, only adding to his merits as a terrific rebounder for his size on both ends of the court."

From ESPN:

"An amazing athlete and perhaps the best leaper in college basketball, Leslie could compete in an NBA dunk contest. But is he an NBA player? His lack of a jump shot and lack of size for his position have scouts worried. If he was two inches taller and could stroke the ball, he’d be a lottery pick. As it stands now, he’s on the first-round bubble."


"Playmaking is not a staple, but he’s capable of getting inside the lane with a lightning quick first step … Assist figures are on the rise (0.6 to 2.5 to 2.9). Versatile defender. Able to guard multiple positions using his combination of strength and agility … An attacking presence defensively, trusting his physical gifts … Quick hands and plays passing lanes well (1.1 career stl) … Blocked a shot per game as a sophomore."

Hickory High’s Similarity Scores

Here’s a breakdown of how Ian Levy from Hickory High came up with his similarity scores.