LAS VEGAS -- They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Well, I'm about to spill a few draft secrets from Sin City.
I spent the last two days with trainer Joe Abunassar, of Impact Basketball in Vegas, looking at a number of first-round prospects.
Abunassar has a great track record with clients like Kevin Garnett, Chauncey Billups, Danny Granger, Rudy Gay and many others. Once again this year he has a whopping 20-plus prospects in his gym preparing for the draft.
Here are five things I learned:
1. Kawhi Leonard is a big-time prospect
The San Diego State forward remains a bit of an enigma to NBA scouts. He ranked as just the 56th-best high school prospect in the class of 2009 by ESPNU and didn't really come on until his senior year in high school.
As a freshman he drew raves for his athletic ability, motor and rebounding, but scouts struggled to see exactly how he fit at the next level. Last season he helped lead the Aztecs to one of the best records in college basketball and drew serious attention from scouts. But after the season, the NBA was still largely split on what his pro potential was.
While we had Leonard in the top 14 of our Big Board most of the year, a number of NBA executives were much more pessimistic about his future. They pointed to his "tweener" status and subpar perimeter shooting as concerns. A few weeks ago, one GM told me he thought Leonard was, at best, a role player at the next level.
I respectfully disagree, as do a handful of NBA execs and scouts. I was blown away by Leonard at the workouts. Not only is his physical profile impressive (huge hands, long wing span, NBA body), but also he's much more skilled than your typical high-energy forward.
To read more about why Kawhi Leonard's draft stock is rising, plus Chad Ford's observations on other prospects like Jacob Pullen and Malcom Lee, you must be an ESPN Insider.