So, it seems like LA is losing their minds over BI at this point. Some are stubborn defenders, other’s capricious haters (kidding, well sort of..)

Given the ceiling everyone talks about with BI and how some have demo’d his ceiling to one comparable to Wesley J (I’ve been having nightmares about this) – I wanted to try and put his “situation” into perspective.

Exhibit A – Kawhi Leonard.
Kawhi made his debut at just about 20.5 years of age. He joined a Spurs team that went 61-21 the year prior. It stands to reason that a young player joining an elite team relieves that player of a lot of pressure all the while exposing him to a proven system with established leaders (Timmy, Pop, Manu, Parker).

Kawhi averages: 7.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 1.1 APG, and 1.3 SPG (he also shot 49% from the field, .376 from 3 on 1.7 attempts/game).

His PPG the next 3 years? 11.9, 12.8, and 16.5

EXHIBIT B: PAUL GEORGE

Paul was also 20 when he made his debut for the 2010-11 Pacers – a team that went 32-50 the year before. While this is much different than Kawhi’s intro with the Spurs (given quality of team) it is similar in that he averaged approximately 20 mpg. He also averaged 7.8 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, and 1 SPG (while shooting 45% from field and 29.8% from 3)

As a 21 year old he averaged 12.1/5.6/2.4 on 48% from field and 38.5% from 3. !!!

When compared to BI’s rookie campaign as a 19 !!! year old : 9.4/4.0/2.1 (on 40% from field and 29.4% from 3 and 28.8 MPG) – one thing in particular jumps out – at least to me 3 pt%

Brandon Ingram shot the 3 ball better at Duke than KL at SDSU or PG at FSUS – yet this obviously has not translated to the pros. Why? My best guess is the difference in strength. Kawhi and PG were noticeably more filled out than BI (assuming stronger as well). BI is younger, taller, longer and lighter than the other 2 wings, and his shot has not caught up. But I believe if he is given time to grow into his body and get stronger it will. He does not need to turn into Giannis, frame-wise, (who would be another good statistical comparison) to extend his J a few more feet. Once he extends his J his off attack game out to prove as well because people cannot sit on his drives. His development, IMO is the most important thing (whether as a cornerstone or a trade chip) for the LA franchise.