It’s taken almost 100 games, but T.J. Leaf has finally surpassed the point total of 17 that he had in his second career game. This wasn’t quite a case of MCW-itis (the dreaded condition where you peak in your first career game), but is peaking in your antedebut really that different than peaking in your debut?
Leaf fooled a lot of people, including me, that game. I thought he was going to be a sweet-shooting white dude (because what white dude isn’t sweet shooting, and don’t bring up Greg Stiemsma he does NOT count) who could average 10 a game as a rookie. Maybe the sweet-shooting part ended up being not all that false, but the averaging 10 part sure didn’t pan out. He averaged 2.9, his minutes dwindling until he was collecting numerous DNP’s by the end of the season.
It’s too early to say he’s a bust. In the past, yeah, I would’ve been trumpeting his bust-status from the highest towers, but it’s not like he was a super high pick or anything. Once you get down to the 18th pick, where he was selected, you’re in iffy territory. D.J. Wilson was the selection right ahead of him, and that dude showed way less in his rookie season. If you want, you can refer to D.J. and T.J. as the “bust brothers”, but I will withhold judgment.
I mean, it’d be a bad time to call Leaf a bust right after he scored a career-high, right? That’s just cruel.