The Sydney Kings are set to announce the signing of former LA Clippers guard Travis Leslie.
The Kings hinted at Leslie’s signing with a sneaky post today with his image being blacked out to disguise his identity.
A talented member of the Aussie Hoopla team was quick to note a quick Google for “Travis Leslie” on Google Images brings up the same image showing Leslie passing to a Clippers teammate.
Thanks, Google Images.
27-year-old Leslie was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers with the 47th pick of the 2011 NBA draft after a stellar campaign in his junior year at the University of Georgia where he averaged 14.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game and was named to the All-SEC second team.
Leslie also signed a 10-day contract to play with the Utah Jazz in 2013 but he did not receive any court time in a regular season game.
During Leslie’s time in the NBA, he proved he was an explosive playmaker and since playing for the Clippers in 2012 has carved out an impressive resume which includes stops in the D-League, France, Lithuania and Germany.
Leslie showed incredible athleticism and strength during his time with the Clippers. Standing at 193cm tall he possesses an amazing 211cm wing span which he combines with quick hands to be a force on the defensive end.
In May’s pre-season testing for the G-League Leslie posted the top maximum vertical leap at 40 testing and the top standing vertical at 33.
Leslie is known to play passing lanes exceptionally well. He averaged 1 steal per game during both his college career and his three seasons in the NBA G-League.
With his powerful, compact frame he finishes well in traffic. In the G-League a high percentage of his points (14 per game) come as a result of the transition game and crashing the offensive glass. He is also a strong free-throw and mid-range shooter.
It’s interesting to note head coach Andrew Gaze has been quite vocal in his efforts to sign a star import big man, the team appear to have pivoted and lending the talented former NBA star.
Last season Kings guards Lisch (seven three-point attempts per game) and Cadee (six three-point attempts per game) relied heavily on the three point shot in the Kings offence. How Leslie fits with the Kings will be interesting, Leslie isn’t as good of a three-point shooter as Kevin Lisch or Jason Cadee and is more of a transition scorer than a catch and shoot player. Does this move show that Gaze is keen to move away from the traditional “shuffle offence” used heavily by the Kings last season?
Kings fans will no doubt will be excited either way by his dunking prowess. It seems likely the two-time Lithuanian Basketball League Slam Dunk champion (2014-15) will have Facebook feeds buzzing if he enters the NBL pre-season slam dunk comp, much like Terance Ferguson did last season.
Gaze noted on the recent Aussie Hoopla podcast the spotted Leslie during his stint with the Indiana Pacers as an assistant coach last month. Leslie played twice at the NBA Summer League with the Pacers, scoring at least 20 points each game and rebounding strongly.
Following a short stint with the Clippers, he has enjoyed a solid career in the NBA Development League and was named the MVP of it’s 2013 All Star Game.
- University of Georgia (2008-11)
- NBA – Los Angeles Clippers (2011-12)
- D League – Bakersfield Jam (2012)
- D League – Santa Cruz Warriors (2012-13)
- France – ASVEL Basket (2013-14)
- Lithuania – BC Šiauliai (2014)
- Lithuania – Lietuvos Rytas (2014-15)
- Germany – Medi Bayreuth (2015-16)
- D League – Fort Wayne Mad Ants (2016-17)