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Suns didn’t draft Kawhi Leonard, in part, because he sweated too much during interview

Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, Kawhi Leonard

San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard, center, is boxed in by Phoenix Suns’ Markieff Morris, left, and Marcus Morris, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)


A snapshot of the 2011 NBA draft:

  • 13. Markieff Morris, Suns
  • 14. Marcus Morris, Rockets
  • 15. Kawhi Leonard, Pacers (for Spurs)

The Morrii have had nice careers, but why did Phoenix pass on Leonard, who has become one of the NBA’s best players?

Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic (hat tip: Scott Howard):

But with a front office conducting its first draft in Phoenix, then-General Manager Lance Blanks’ staff did not have Leonard in the discussion. Part of the Suns’ knock on Leonard, beyond his perimeter shot, was how nervously he acted in a draft combine interview, when he sweated through his suit.

That’s from a 2015 article, but the humor and lesson are lasting.

Teams sometimes drive themselves crazy in the pre-draft process by overanalyzing players. Interviews are important, but like every factor, nobody should overreact to them.

The Spurs didn’t see a sweaty wreck. They saw a good defender with potential to develop offensively and the diligence to work at his craft. And they were very right.