Andre Drummond, East’s best center right now, should be an All-Star this season

Me at the Detroit Free Press:

I have no doubt that Drummond is a future All-Star. He posted 4.5 win shares last season, at age 19, and a large majority of players who even neared that level as a teenager eventually became All-Stars.

Of the 15 players with more than three win shares in a season as a teenager, 11 became All-Stars: Kyrie Irving, Andrew Bynum, Dwight Howard, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Tony Parker, Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, Stephon Marbury and Kevin Garnett. Anthony Davis will make that number 12 this season.

Thaddeus Young still has a chance to make an All-Star Game, but that seems extremely unlikely now. Cliff Robinson (not to be confused with the former Piston who went by Clifford and mad the 1994 All-Star Game) never made one.

That leaves Drummond.

With all due respect to Roy Hibbert, Al Horford and Chris Bosh, Drummond is the Eastern Conference’s best center right now. Those three could catch Drummond, maybe even before the All-Star break, but Drummond leads right now with his powerful effectiveness that produces 13.5 points on a league-best 64.6% shooting, 12.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.

Unfortunately, being the best — or even most popular — center in the conference doesn’t guarantee an All-Star berth anymore.

Last season, the NBA switched from starting one center and two forwards to starting three frontcourt players, giving Drummond more competition in the fan vote for starters.

LeBron James is a lock to get one of those spots, and Carmelo Anthony — who has started the last four years and nearly topped LeBron in voting last season — is a safe bet despite a down year.

The third spot is up for grabs, though.

Drummond repeatedly has made the NBA establishment regret sleeping on him. It’s time he stops getting overlooked and gets an All-Star nod this season.

The ball is in Drummond’s court to ensure that the voters, whether they’re fans or coaches, don’t drop it.

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