After logging over 1,000 minutes for Franca for the third straight year in the Brazilian league, 22-year-old Leonardo Meindl was selected for Brazilian squad that competed in the Pan American Games in Toronto due to the absences of Leandrinho Barbosa, Alex Garcia and Marcus Vinícius Viera, who will participate in the FIBA Americas instead.
The team did well (it played great offense and won gold) but perhaps more important, Meindl introduced himself as a potential solution for the national team’s shortage of depth on the wing.
Meindl’s top skill is his three-point shooting. 46.4% of his shots were taken from beyond the arc these last three seasons, as were 16 of 27 attempts last week. He doesn’t elevate much off the ground but doesn’t need to for a high point in his release thanks to his six-foot-seven height. More importantly, he has proven himself able to shoot on the move – coming off baseline and side screens.
According to RealGM, Meindl nailed 200 three-point shots in the Brazilian league in his three seasons as a full time pro, with 37.2% efficiency on 537 attempts. He converted the eighth most such shots in that league last season and was the fifth highest scorer – an impressive feat considering his age.
Meindl can run pick-and-rolls off a live dribble but struggled to create separation against the sort of athletes he faced last week, often looking to quickly pass off a couple of bounces than attack the rim with decisiveness.
When he did make a push, he couldn’t get around his defender or drive through contact often. Meindl showed some explosiveness attacking free driving lanes but didn’t do well against length at the rim, struggling to maintain his balance in the air, and also didn’t show much of a pull-up game.
Meindl is a decent enough passer on the move that he can recognize rotations and find open teammates (14% assist-rate with Franca last season) but is not an option to create against a set defense at this point, at least against the level of competition he played against in Toronto. And the offense Brazil ran did not ask him to take smaller wings into the post.
He is also turnover prone, due to a loose handle, and those giveaways tank some of his value. Meindl turned it over on 18.8% of Franca’s possessions in his 1,354 minutes on the floor last season and the team averaged just 98.5 points per 100 possessions with him in the lineup despite the fact he is a high-volume three-point shooter and those tend to have higher offensive ratings.
Standing at six-foot-seven and weighing 200 pounds, Meindl has prototypical size for his position and showcased good strength to contain dribble penetration through contact and pretty good quickness to chase shooters around baseline screens.
He navigated screens reasonably well for someone with his big frame and contested shots effectively, though he didn’t show the sort of burst to recover into plays that would make him an asset to guard smaller guards. Meindl is, however, an option to pick up bigger players on switches, as his strength helps him holds his own in the post against some lighter power forwards.
Meindl doesn’t make a lot of plays shutting down passing lanes or helping protect the rim but his athleticism translates in contributions on the defensive glass. He collected 13.8% of opponents’ misses last season, a mark that ranked him fourth in the Brazilian league in defensive rebounding rate among small forwards.
Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Upside & Motor, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara