For starters, Drummond gets an amazing experience, traveling to Spain to play basketball. This could and should be a very fun couple of weeks for him.
He also gets to train with some of the world’s elite players, which presents an opportunity for real growth. Drummond, quietly already one of the NBA’s best centers, still has a lot to learn — and he has models to watch up close.
Drummond can note Davis’ ability to use his length and athleticism to defend all parts of the floor. He can study Cousins’ footwork in the post. He can see Plumlee’s finishing at the rim.
This also is a chance for Drummond to show what he can do.
On some level, it’s surprising that Drummond made the team, despite there being no clear role for him. But I trust that Jerry Colangelo knew what he was doing in assembling the squad.
Drummond might just be insurance for the massive front line (Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka) of Spain, the Americans’ primary competition. But I think there’s more to Drummond’s selection.
Colangelo knows talent, and the World Cup gives Drummond a chance to show he belongs. That’s a hugely positive indicator for Drummond — as long as he takes advantage.
Every day, Drummond can show he has the work ethic, composure and maturity to remain part of Team USA for a long time. No Piston has ever had that experience.
Since the national team began including NBA players in 1992, five Pistons have represented the U.S. at the highest levels — the Olympics or the World Cup (nee the World Championships):
■ Tayshaun Prince (2008 Olympics)
■ Ben Wallace (2002 Word Championships)
■ Grant Hill (1996 Olympics)
■ Isiah Thomas (1994 World Championships)
■ Joe Dumars (1994 World Championships)
All five were one-and-done with the national team. Drummond, 21 and the youngest member of the Team USA World Cup roster, has a strong chance to return.
Tags: Andre Drummond