Andre Drummond named most pleasant rookie surprise by ESPN panelists

ESPN conducted a 5-on-5 on NBA rookies, and most of the respondents answered “Which rookie has been the most pleasant surprise?” with Andre Drummond.

Kevin Arnovitz,

Andre Drummond. Remember all those concerns about his motor? We haven’t heard a peep about it lately, which is a further reminder that in any maturation process, there’s a point at the very beginning where the person is callow. He and Greg Monroe will prosper together in what should become a devastating force-and-finesse frontcourt.

James Herbert, Hardwood Paroxysm:

Andre Drummond. Fans, scouts, general managers, writers — we all knew he had the tools. But how many of us can say we were fully confident he’d be this effective this early? Drummond is rebounding and blocking shots as well as almost anyone — not just rookies — on a per-possession basis. He’s been a beast.

Steve McPherson, A Wolf Among Wolves:

Andre Drummond. The chatter before the draft was that Drummond was a limited player who could only do a few things. That was sort of right, but he’s doing those few things stupendously well. In the paint he’s shooting 64 percent and grabbing 13.3 rebounds per 36 minutes. He and Monroe are a formidable frontcourt (when they actually play together).

I also would have answered Drummond for that question and “Who’s your dark-horse contender for rookie of the year?” Surprisingly, none of the five panelists chose Drummond as their dark horse.

The only thing separating Drummond from legitimate Rookie of the Year candidacy is playing time. Although his minutes per game are trending downward – 21.3  in January after 22.1 in December – it’s more likely he earns more playing time than any of the other dark horses overcome their flaws.

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