Meyers Leonard signs 10-day contract with Bucks: Source

Free-agent center Meyers Leonard is signing a 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, according to a league source. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Leonard last played in January 2021, when he had season-ending shoulder and ankle surgery. He has been on the sidelines for almost two years and was recently cleared to train for NBA teams.
  • Leonard was suspended for one week and fined $50,000 in March 2021 after using an anti-Semitic slur on a live broadcast. He later apologized and has been spending time with Jewish leaders and immersing himself in the Jewish community over the past couple of years, something the league has been aware of.
  • The Athletic reported last month that Leonard was working out for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Background story

At 7-foot-1, Leonard has shot 42.9 percent from 3-point range over the last four seasons and is averaging 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds per game over seven seasons. In 28 career playoff games with Portland and Miami, Leonard averaged 5.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and shot 48.1 percent from three.

Milwaukee entered the All-Star break in second place in the East at 41-17.

Why Leonard?

As the Bucks get ready to get back on the floor after the All-Star break, they could use some great depth in their rotation as two key contributors get healthy. In their final game before the All-Star break, Giannis Antetokounmpo injured his right wrist on the basket stand while trying to block a Coby White attempt at the rim.

Backup center Bobby Portis missed the final 11 games before the break after suffering a right MCL sprain on Jan. 23 in the Bucks’ 150-130 win over the Pistons on Jan. 23. With both Antetokounmpo and Portis sidelined, the Bucks could use a big to help Brook Lopez in coach Mike Budenholzer’s rotation.

Leonard, a 7-foot, 260-pound center, has not played in an NBA game since Jan. 9, 2021, when he underwent season-ending shoulder and ankle surgeries.

He has now been sidelined for two years, but he was recently fully cleared to train again for NBA teams. In nine NBA seasons, Leonard averaged 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 16 minutes per game and shot 39 percent from 3, but never played a major role with the Blazers or Heat. — Nah

Where does the Bucks roster stand?

When the Bucks entered their trade deadline to acquire Jae Crowder, they sent away three players, along with five second-round draft picks. That opened up two spots and the Bucks must fill at least one of those spots before they play the Miami Heat on Friday.

Signing Leonard to a ten-day contract would give the Bucks added depth while they wait for Antetokounmpo and Portis to return to the floor, but also allow them to move in a different direction if they ultimately decide they are in greater need at point guard. the wing forward.

Even with the signing of Leonard, they still have another roster spot open if they want to sign a player from the buyout market to a contract for the rest of the season. — Nah

Compulsory reading

(Photo: Jasen Vinlove / USA Today)

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