San Diego St. Aztec forward Kawhi Leonard has not officially made any decision about entering the 2011 NBA draft, but his teammate Malcolm Thomas believes Leonard is going to skip his last two years of eligibility and enter the NBA Draft:
Leonard has yet to declare for the NBA draft as an underclassman or formally hire an agent that would negate his remaining two seasons of collegiate eligibility, but Thomas considers both a mere formality. "I think he's leaving," Thomas said, "for sure."
Leonard has been the Aztecs best player this season and averaged 15.5 points to go along with 10.6 rebounds per game. Leonard was a second team All-America and was considered the second best player from the Mountain West behind BYU's Jimmer Fredette. Leonard's decision most likely will be based on his draft rating, but NBA Draft Express has Leonard as the 13th pick in their latest mock draft and doing to the Phoenix Suns. ESPN's Chad Ford has Leonard as the 13th overall NBA draft prospect ($).
One thing that could sway Leonard's decision to go pro or stay one more year at San Diego State is the impeding, or for the pessimists out there an inevitable, NBA lock out. Leonard must submit his name to the NBA by April 24 if he wishes to enter the draft, and he can withdraw his name by May 8 as long as he has not hired an agent.