Canada’s Leonard Miller is the mystery man for the 2022 NBA Draft
The most enigmatic player in the 2022 NBA Draft has arrived.
Leonard Miller’s White 247 Sports and Rivals pages area tribute to how little he was recruited or scouted until recently. His rivals recruitment site might as well be a ‘404 Not Found’ screen. He has no Rivals ranking, no national ranking and his ranking among small forwards is zero. The only biographical information available lists him as a lanky 6-foot-10, 210-pound forward playing at Fort Erie International Academy in Toronto.
However, in the right corner of the screen, I noticed that they had compiled that he had 10 pending offers and the fan projection predicted that he would go to Kentucky. This must be a long con. It’s not uncommon for a brash high school student-athlete to draw attention to himself by generate their own internet rumor mill.
Leonard Miller is a sufficiently commonplace name that it is difficult to detect the ruse on Google. He is a best plastic surgeons in boston, Florida-based CEO and Black Athletes Hall of Fame inductee. There are four different Wikipedia pages for the eminent Leonard Millers.
On April 23, a Leonard Miller who played sparingly off the bench for the Canadian Under-16 National Team in 2019 declared himself for the NBA draft. How does an unranked high school phenom from Canada enter the draft without Drake around him? If this was elaborate attention, the likely next development would be the creation of a Twitter page referring to himself as a “future NBA third-round pick” in the biography.
Fortunately, this is not the case. Miller is the real deal, and more. At 18, Leonard Miller would be one of the youngest players in the 2022 draft, but he spent a postgraduate year at Fort Erie International Academy. In a league populated by skilled monoliths, Miller could be the next potential unicorn to land on NBA shores. Two years ago, he was a 6-foot-4 unrated guard at Victory Rock Prep Academy in Toronto and light years away from being on the NBA radar.
However, a six-inch growth spurt elevated him to the top level of NBA speech. As a fringe member of the 2019 FIBA U16 Canadian squad that made it to the final, Miller was a 6-foot-7 reserve who saw less than eight minutes of action per game. He did not appear in any of the four significant rankings until On3 updated their 2022 player rankings to include him after he was named to the National Prep Invitational’s All-Tournament Team in February.
In November, TCU — where Leonard Miller’s brother Emmanuel is a junior — expressed the most serious interest. But after Leonard Miller scored 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting, drained two triples, recorded five rebounds, two blocks and a steal against Team USA at the 2022 Nike Hoop Summit, the first round of the NBA Draft has been developed.
The basketball gods have been generous with Miller. He is a sly, left-handed but ambidextrous ball handler who has grown to 6ft 11in and boasts a wingspan of 7ft 3in, but still maneuvers as if he were a 6 feet 4 inches guard. During his post-college season at Ontario (CAN) Fort Erie Academy, Miller averaged 33 points, 12.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Miller looks like an NBA 2K-created player, initiating the offense but nearly seven feet away. His 7-foot-3 wingspan allows him to hook passes over defense. Still, he’s smooth enough to probe in and out of lane or easily perform one-handed no-look passes to wide-opening markers.
miller said Forward looking overview that his NBA role models were Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, James Harden, D’Angelo Russell and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Her sweater is still a bit atypical but its shape is more refined than at the time he built brick mansions at the FIBA U16 Tournament 2019. Getting closer to the rim and engaging his lower body to mount up on his release made him a more accurate shooter.
“Even though I’m ambidextrous, I’m naturally left-handed so I also watch James Harden a lot. He does a lot of my favorite shot which is the step back, so he’s definitely someone I study on film and try to dissect what he does. D’Angelo Russell is another southpaw I’ve always been drawn to. He has a certain swagger to his game that I like,” Miller said in November. “A fellow Canadian that I like to watch and I think is a very fluid player and just does what he does at a high level is Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander].”
Defensively, Miller’s agility, lateral quickness and length will make him an immediate asset to any heavy defensive scheme. He was still visiting colleges in April and still plans to go the G-League Ignite route. The North American prospect doesn’t go from an out-of-the-collegiate-field radar to a first-round pick in two months. It’s usually reserved for off-the-beaten-track hoops discovered abroad on the bench for a semi-professional B League in Europe or Asia.
The problem with most unicorns is that not all of them succeed. For each skyrocketing tech unicorn, venture capitalists pour equal amounts into belly flops. The principles that apply to venture capital also translate to developing the talents of unicorns. NBA teams that invest in a unicorn spend years devoting resources such as shooting coaches, thousands of hours in the lab working on their game, and the patience to wait for a return on investment. Likewise, Leonard Miller could be either an advanced outlier of Giannis’ prototype or the next Thon Maker. Sometimes a unicorn is actually just a horse with a calcified deformity on its face.
Miller has the tools to become a planet-destroying weapon on the wing, but first he’ll have to convince the front offices that he deserves first-round evaluation during the preliminary judging period. Imagination must fill in the gaps where there is a black hole of information.
Scouts will spend the next few months unearthing all the information they can find on Miller, consuming videos of him, tracking his development, inviting him to practices and determining his state of readiness for the NBA. Their imagination will have to flesh out how far its potential extends.