Stan Van Gundy recognized last summer that his team needed another stretch-four. Instead of standing idly by and doing nothing about, Van Gundy decided to sign the 6-foot-11, Jon Leuer to a four year, $42 million contract.
Through the first 50 games of the season, Leuer’s play made Van Gundy look like a genius. He was impressive on both ends of the floor and possessed an immense amount of confidence.
Stan Van Gundy is known to be incredibly candid and honest in his interviews and press conferences. When asked about Leuer this season, Van gundy described him as, “One of the best power forwards in the league. And over the last 25 games, one of the worst.”
Leuer was mainly brought into Detroit to fill the missing gap of “three point shooters”. Leuer ended the season with a 29% 3 point shooting percentage. To make matters worse, in his final 11 games, Leuer shot 2 for 15 from the 3-point line. In four of those, he did not attempt any shots from 3.
There were a few games where Leuer shot around 50% from three point land and scored over 20 points. Those are the games the Pistons are likely holding onto this off season as they try and rationalize the contract they gave Leuer.
Despite the horrendous numbers and Leuer put up in the home stretch of the season, President and head coach, Stan Van Gundy is sticking by his guy. He told the media after the regular season, “”The guy had a couple of bad games and totally lost his confidence. Jon’s got a lot of talent. He’s a good player. He cares a great deal. He’s committed. He plays hard.”
The Pistons had the third worst three point shooting percentage in the league this season. In an era where great teams hit shots from behind the arc, Jon Leuer showed potential this year but also disappointed many tremendously. Since he’s still on contract for another three years, Detroit is incredibly likely to stick with him and hope he becomes a consistently reliable stretch four who can knock down three pointers.
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