He was a polarizing figure in Rip City for seven years.
And now as the Trail Blazers No. 11 pick of the 2012 NBA draft looks to free agency, he is ready for a steady role in the playoffs.
With free agency looming, Meyers Leonard says he is seeking a consistent role on a playoff team and he says he isn’t concerned about his financial situation with his next contract.
Leonard had a major role for Miami starting at center for the Heat during the regular season.
He averaged around 20 minutes a night, while notching 6.1 points and 5.1 rebounds. But, after he had been sidelined for nearly two months with a fairly serious left ankle sprain, his minutes in the NBA restart decreased and he only saw 10.3 total minutes of action in the playoffs.
Now, as an unrestricted free agent, Leonard is looking for an important role once again with a playoff team, as he explained in a recent interview with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“Whether it’s starting or coming off the bench, I’m thinking 20 to 25 minutes. I feel that I’ve shown people, no question about it, that I can be impactful on both sides of the ball every single night, and that I certainly do bring value.”
With Heat coach Erik Spoelstra making the decision to ride with Bam Adebayo over Leonard in the Orlando bubble, the former Trail Blazers center handled it like a professional and accepted his role as a main supporter.
The 28-year-old was accustomed to earning inconsistent playing time in Portland as well.
Leonard said he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of returning to Miami.
But again, it goes back to having a consistent role.
In an interview with the Miami Herald, Leonard reiterated what he’s looking for in free agency.
“Everyone, I guess, you would say has to think about the financial component of a contract and everything like that. But the truth of it is, I want to win and I just want to have a significant role.”
For his career, Leonard is averaging 16.1 minutes while recording 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.