T.J. Leaf, a recent NBA first-round pick, has inked a new deal with the Beijing Ducks in China, as reported by Alberto De Roa of HoopsHype. Leaf’s last NBA appearance was during the 2020-21 season with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he averaged 1.7 points per game in seven outings.
T.j. Leaf a Recent NBA First-Round Pick
In the previous season, the 26-year-old forward showcased his talents in the CBA with the Beijing Ducks, posting impressive stats including 17.6 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game. He shot 50.8% from the field and 33.8% from beyond the arc in 37 games. Leaf has extended his contract with the Ducks for the upcoming 2023-24 season.
Leaf’s basketball journey began at UCLA, where he contributed to their Sweet 16 appearance in 2017. Following this successful college stint, he was selected as the 18th pick in the NBA Draft by the Indiana Pacers. He spent three seasons with the Pacers before joining the Trail Blazers. Throughout his NBA career, Leaf has averaged 3.3 points and 1.9 rebounds per game, shooting 49.2% from the field and 34.1% from three-point range across 146 regular-season games, with five NBA playoff appearances.
Notably, Leaf also spent two seasons in the CBA, including a year with the Guangzhou Loong Lions. During that season, he recorded impressive statistics of 25.0 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.7 blocks per game. He maintained shooting percentages of 56.9% from the field and 30.0% from three-point range in 17 games.
Considering Leaf’s young age, there remains potential for a return to the NBA in the near future.