For the third year in a row, the Pistons had a player fall to them on draft night that they considered a top talent. This year, it was UConn’s Andre Drummond, the hyper-athletic forward who boasts one of the more unique skill sets in the draft.
Drummond was considered a possible second pick behind Anthony Davis, so it’s pretty incredible that the Pistons, at 9, were able to snatch him up. It definitely took some curveballs (Dion Waiters and Terrence Ross going higher than expected), and some positional fits for other teams, but the Pistons may just have their center to pair with Greg Monroe for years to come.
The former Huskie has a massive frame to work with, weighing 280 pounds and 6’11” with a 7’6” wingspan. Despite that weight, he has just 7% body fat; the kid (he’s still only 18) is a physical specimen.
For comparison’s sake, Orlando center Dwight Howard is 6’11”, 265 pounds, and has a 7’4” wingspan. Those types of physical attributes don’t come along often; he could very well end up being the best pick of this year’s draft.
While his per game point and rebound totals may not be too promising (10.2 and 7.7 respectively), it’s his blocking ability and defense that should excite a fanbase that saw little to no paint defense last season. Drummond blocked 2.7 shots a game, good for 15th in the country. A defensive-minded big man joining the team? Sign me up.
Unfortunately, there are very valid reasons that have many concerned already about Drummond.
For one, consistency and drive were a problem for him last season; he would show up for some games, then disappear the next. His lackluster performance in the latter part of this past season had many questioning his motor, that he was too laid-back, and even lazy.
I personally chalk that up to being young, naive, and immature. Drummond should just now be entering his freshman year at Connecticut, so I feel like skeptics are being a little premature about him as both a player and a person. The fact that Connecticut as a whole had an extremely tumultuous season both on-court and off didn’t help his case.
He’s absolutely a project, and the Pistons’ entire organization must remain patient and let him grow into his own. After years of questionable personnel moves, it would appear that GM Joe Dumars has a direction that he hopes to take this team in, and Drummond needs to be a part of that.
With plenty of patience, structure, and coaching, I really think this pick will pay huge dividends for the Pistons. With Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight, Rodney Stuckey, and Jonas Jerebko, the team should have a formidable core for years to come.
What do you think? Did the team make the right call in drafting Andre Drummond, or should they have gone a different route?