• Mardy Collins
    Mardy
    Collins
  • Marcus Cousin
    Marcus
    Cousin
  • Chris Daniels
    Chris
    Daniels
  • Marcus Dove
    Marcus
    Dove
  • Andre Emmett
    Andre
    Emmett
  • Kenny Hayes
    Kenny
    Hayes
  • Chris Johnson
    Chris
    Johnson
  • Leo Lyons
    Leo
    Lyons
  • Renaldo Major
    Renaldo
    Major
  • Juan Pattillo
    Juan
    Pattillo
  • Jerry Smith
    Jerry
    Smith
  • Jeremy Wise
    Jeremy
    Wise
Leo Lyons ● 6 feet, 9 inches ● 240 pounds ● Forward
Over the course of the 2011-12 NBA Development League season, the only thing that could really stop Leo Lyons was a trade.

In the first half of the year, after returning late from an injury that pushed back the start of his season following a bronze-medal win in the Pan American Games, Lyons towered over virtually every other forward in the league. The lack of consistency that’d plagued him since his University of Missouri days turned into a string of double-doubles (at once point, five in a six-game stretch between Jan. 13 and 27) and a level of play that earned him a bid to the NBA D-League All-Star Game. Through 26 games with the eventual NBA D-League champion Austin Toros, he averaged 16.2 points and 8.9 rebounds, including a 19-point, 16-rebound night against a powerhouse D-Fenders squad in late February.

Then, a week after he started the All-Star game alongside Nets-to-be Jeff Foote and Jerry Smith, Hornet-to-be Jerome Dyson and fireworks-display-to-be Gerald Green, he was traded to the Dakota Wizards and never started again.

Lyons’ numbers fell for the Wizards, where he finished with a 9.6-point, 5.6-rebound average in 14 games. The offensive game that he’d shown off since Mizzou – Lyons has long been able to score in a dazzling variety of ways, from around the hoop to the perimeter – withered a bit as he struggled to find his role in the system.

“The difference is that I was with Austin for a long time so they had a lot of confidence in me,” Lyons said. “I knew the system like the back of my hand and I was a key to that team, then in Dakota I had to play where I was. I understood the situation, and knew what scouts would judge me for. I kept that on my mind the whole time, to not get frustrated because of the decreased role, and I did what I could when I went out there.”

He did, however, play defense. And for a player whose perceived lack of intensity has long held him back, he showed more and more his ability to face-up against virtually every position on the court.

His Ceiling

Lyons could be a starter in the NBA. In the right situation – or the right system – he could apply his spectacularly rare combination of size, grace and scoring ability to great ends. That’ll only happen, though, if he can first crack onto a roster by proving that he can give the same performance every single night by focusing on defense and rebounding and letting the part of his game that’s long been second nature – offense – still come natural.

What He Needs from Summer League

Consistency. After Elite Camp, Lyons talked about how he “almost collapsed” in the fourth quarter of one of the games after working so hard. If he can do that five times – not to mention score like he always does and shut down his opponents – he’ll earn some fans in high places.

Quote

"I’ve had one foot in and one foot out, and people keep saying I'm almost there. Me, my family and my agent, we want the NBA, so I’m not thinking about playing overseas." - Leo Lyons

More on Lyons

NBA Experience

None

NBA D-League Experience

2 years (2010-12 with Austin, 2012 with Dakota)

International Experience

None

College

Missouri

NBA Equivalent

Caron Butler

Skills

Scoring inside, rebounding (sometimes), moving without the ball, mid-range shooting

Areas of Improvement

Intensity, consistency, rebounding (sometimes), defense