2012 NBA Draft Rumors: Warriors Might Be Targeting Meyers Leonard

The 2012 NBA Draft has taken a backseat to the NBA Playoffs for the time being, but there are already rumors that the Golden State Warriors are targeting former Illinois center Meyers Leonard in the draft. Tim Kawakami of Mercury News reported via Twitter that Golden State is "taking a good look at Illinois C Meyers Leonard, maybe as a trade focus" if they move up from their late-round pick.

The Warriors made a big splash at the NBA Trade Deadline this past season when they pulled off a five-player deal with the Milwaukee Bucks that featured a swap of Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh and Kwame Brown's Expiring Contract for center Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson (who later was flipped for Richard Jefferson). In other words, they would likely be in the market for more of a backup center.

Bogut is recovering from surgery to repair a broken ankle he suffered as a member of the Bucks in January, but the Aussie is expected to be ready for the start of the season as is the clear No. 1 at the position. Power forward David Lee is a favorite of the organization and is locked in to a long-term deal at that position, but Leonard is considered more a traditional big man anyways.

Legitimate centers are hard to come by in the modern NBA, and if GSW thinks Leonard is a solid rotation big for the future, they apparently might be willing to maneuver to get him. Leonard is currently ranked as the No. 15 overall prospect on Draft Express and the No. 19 prospect on ESPN.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage of Illini basketball, head over to Hail to the Orange. And for more from around the world of college hoops, check out SB Nation's NCAA basketball news hub.

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