ESPN’s Bradley Doolittle annually projects who will be the NBA’s top players by position. Here’s what he had to say about Andre Drummond:
1. Andre Drummond
Team: Detroit Pistons
RPM PF rank: No. 14
WARP PF rank: No. 2
Overall #NBArank: No. 30
Drummond’s game still has a few holes, so it’s easy to dwell on those and overlook his immense production. Stan Van Gundy reshaped the Pistons to accentuate Drummond’s burgeoning talent at a good time. At 23, his rebounding rivals that of a peak Moses Malone.
Hidden talent: Some prolific rebounders pad their numbers by gobbling up all the easy defensive boards, often with their teammates’ help, but Drummond’s been in the top seven percent the last two years in corralling contested rebounds, per SportVu.
Taking it to the next level: Drummond must develop a reliable post move. He doesn’t have to be Kareem on the low block, but he does need to be good enough to attract more frequent double teams.
By now, most Pistons fans already consider Drummond the best center in the league. And if he keeps playing as he has through the first 11 games, he will likely take Dwight Howard’s former place as the easy number one with everyone else competing for second. But it’s nice to see him getting some national recognition already.
That said, Doolittle had Drummond ranked first in 2014 and second in 2013, so it’s not like he just took note of Andre. Last season, Drummond wasn’t one of the best five centers in the league and only arguably top ten. Hopefully this time around, he continues to live up to expectations.