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The Basketball Jones: Andre Drummond ‘could eventually be the greatest running big man in the game’

Dennis Velasco of The Basketball Jones chose an X-Factor for every NBA team, and he picked Andre Drummond for the Pistons:

Drummond was actually considered the top prospect for the 2012 NBA Draft before the 2011 college basketball season started and the aforementioned Davis went bananas. Even leading up to the draft, Drummond was a possibility for being a top three pick, but the Pistons were relatively lucky to get him at No. 9. He has a ton of potential and could eventually be the greatest running big man in the game, but it will be all about desire for him. Much like fellow UConn alumnus, Rudy Gay, was questioned during the early part of his NBA career, there’s no denying the talent, but the passion is another issue. Can Lawrence Frank keep Drummond engaged?

First of all, I definitely agree Drummond is the Pistons’ X-Factor. Based on the preseason, Drummond is closer to helping the Pistons this season than I expected. Still, no Detroit player has a wide range of possible production this season than Drummond.

As far as Drummond potentially “becoming the greatest running big man in the game,” that’s just awesome to even consider.


  • Oct 29, 201211:45 pm
    by Vince


    Hmmm I’m all for hype but lets just wait to see how he develops first, I don’t mind the Dwight Howard comparisons although I agree more with others who see him as a young McDyess/B.Wallace combo. I’m sure he’s going to exceed expectations but come on, one of the greatest big men?

    • Oct 29, 201211:56 pm
      by tarsier


      The player he reminds me of most is definitely Bogut.

      • Oct 30, 20124:16 am
        by Vince


        Bogut? Really? 

        • Oct 30, 201210:21 am
          by tarsier


          Yeah, the first thing that jumps out at you is he is huge and fills up a ton of the paint. But for such a big body, he is surprisingly nimble and athletic (although Bogut was more so pre-injuries). His biggest contribution is anchoring the defense, where he is one of the best in the league. He is a phenomenal shot blocker but a league bottom five free throw shooter. He doesn’t contribute a ton of offense but he does it efficiently and makes it look good when he does.

          Bogut is below Drummond’s ceiling but well above his floor. Overall, Pistons fans should be delighted if Drummond becomes as good as Bogut’s fear-the-deer days. That would represent phenomenal value for a 9th overall pick.

          Really, the biggest barrier, I believe, to Drummond-Bogut comparisons is the unspoken rule that we compare black guys to black guys and white guys to white guys. Oh, and I seriously hope Drummond turns out to be much more durable than Bogut.

          • Oct 30, 201210:29 am
            by XstreamINsanity

            Were you on ESPN Radio the other day, because I heard that same argument regarding NFL Quarterbacks.  :)  Though I agree, why not compare skill to skill, rather than skill+color to skill+same color.  The Bogut comparison is ok, but I hope we get more than what Bogut is.  :)

          • Oct 30, 201211:35 am
            by tarsier

            Yeah, I’m on national radio all the time, nbd. I just happen to be a big shot who like hanging out commenting on blogs :)  (jk, in case it wasn’t obvious)

            And I certainly hop Drummond is not as injury prone as Bogut. But if apart from that, he can play like 09-10 Bogut consistently, I’d be ecstatic. That year, Bogut was easily the second best C in the league. Both his offense and his defense were at a similar level to Howard’s. The only place he was significantly behind was on rebounding. But, as has been pointed out a couple times on PP, Detroit’s whole lineup is pretty strong on the glass. So they could make up for “only” a 10-11 rpg center.

            But yeah, an even better player would be awesome. 

        • Oct 30, 201210:25 am
          by tarsier


          I suppose I could just as easily compare him to Tyson Chandler (except for the free throw shooting part). But that fails the eye test. Chandler is tall and long and relatively lanky. Bogut and Drummond share the same enormous frame.

      • Oct 30, 20126:56 am
        by gmehl


        I really hate comparisons of players. Why can’t he just be the first Andre Drummond. If he can get his free throw % up to around 60% i feel it is realistic for him to maybe score in double figures this season.

        • Oct 30, 201210:10 am
          by tarsier


          Why can’t he just be the first Andre Drummond?

          Because we want to know what to expect of him. And we’ve never seen Drummond before. So comparing him to past or present players helps us get a feel for how he might contribute. There is the occasional player that just defies comparisons to anyone else. And maybe Drummond will be one of those guys. But let’s wait and see. At this point, he is comparable, as a prospect, to what many other players were as prospects. But of course, they all develop differently.

          Saying Drummond is Drummond is boring and uninformative. I gain no insight from looking at him and just seeing him. By looking at his similarities and differences to another player, I can gauge what seems reasonable to expect of him and how excited or disappointed to be by his play if he performs at some given level. 

          • Oct 30, 201210:21 pm
            by gmehl

            ‘Saying Drummond is Drummond is boring and uninformative’
            I disagree with this. I think just watching Drummond evolve into Drummond 2-3 years from now is very exciting. Player comparisons of young guys to established veterans just set you up for disappointment. You were probably one of the guys on here saying Daye was going to be the next Durant or Stuckey the next Wade. You compare Drummond to Bogut which i think is a really bad comparison. Bogut can do so many different things that Drummond can’t and vice versa. Bogut has range all the way out to the 3pt line and is a really good passer where as Drummond is an athletic freak that will try and dunk anything in sight. Being an Australian i have seen a lot of Bogut over the years and if you really had to come up with a comparison that i think you have shot a brick with that one tasier.
            Something i guess we all agree on is that Drummond has the tools to be something really special, even better than Bogut i believe who i really rate and think will actually have a big bounce back season. People say he is injury prone but the poor guy has just been unlucky with freak accidents and it’s not like he has glass knees. It’s funny mentioned Bogut though cause i spoke to him in person last season during the lockout (at Sydney Kings game in the Australian league) and i said to him i wish he would push for a trade to the pistons. He just laughed and said he loves Detroit but he didn’t think they would trade him to a central division rival :-)

          • Oct 30, 201211:15 pm
            by tarsier

            “I think just watching Drummond evolve into Drummond 2-3 years from now is very exciting.”

            I agree. But we are commenting on this blog to talk. We could just watch. And that would be fine. But then why bother posting anything here? Since this site (at least for me) is about a chance to converse about the Pistons (I live in Philly and don’t know any Pistons fans out here), I talk about things. Like Drummond. Because he is the most interesting part of the organization at this moment. And conversationally, it is boring to say Drummond is Drummond. It would be like, instead of guessing how the Pistons will do this season, and who they will be competing with potentially for the last playoff spots, we said “Detroit’s final standings will be whatever they will be”. It’s true. But it’s not interesting. And if that’s all you want to say or to hear others say, why bother joining the conversation?

          • Oct 31, 20122:29 am
            by gmehl

            I understand what you are saying and i respect your opinion. Some of the comparisons are unrealistic and only end up in disappointment when the player doesn’t live up to the hype. Speaking of playoffs i think any chance we have of scraping into 8th will depend on our 1st 20 games or so. If we can play .500 ball in that stretch then i don’t see why we can’t make a run at the 8th spot. I guess if Drummond lives up to your Bogut comparison then 8th might become a reality :-)

          • Oct 31, 20129:22 am
            by tarsier

            I don’t expect him to be a Bogut as a rookie. But yeah, I feel like while it is fun to try to compare players in order to get an idea of how to project their careers, it is unfair to saddle them with overly high and rigid projections that aren’t adjusted as evidence is obtained.

    • Oct 31, 201212:51 pm
      by Max


      He reminds me of a young wider Shawn Kemp.

  • Oct 30, 201212:59 am
    by jake


    drummond’s already getting national attention, which is awesome. it seems like he enjoys the spotlight. he’s got a good head on his shoulders too, which is a huge plus. i can’t wait to see how he fairs over the next few years. i’m expecting big things…

  • Oct 30, 20127:03 am
    by gmehl


    If Drummond isn’t a regular starter this season then he won’t win rookie of the year but he could definitely challenge for the sixth man award. Here is a question that some might not know…who is the only player to win the sixth man award as a rookie? Clue (he has played for the Pistons)

    • Oct 30, 20128:08 am
      by andyf


      ben gordon

      • Oct 30, 20128:43 am
        by DasMark


        That would be correct. 

      • Oct 30, 20129:53 am
        by gmehl


        Corrrrect…tell him what he’s won

    • Oct 30, 20128:42 am
      by DasMark


      Drummond will likely win all-rookie 1st team. I could also see him dominating the rookie-soph challenge as well. 

      But, I doubt he will be in the running for rookie of the year. Everyone is calling it a two horse race between Davis and Lillard. For any other rookie to break into that race, they’ll have to be amazing. Drummond would have to be a near 20-10 guy every night to make it happen.

      It’s the Detoit bias. Nobody cares whats happening here. (from a national perspective)

      Sixth man of the year? I’d like to know when the last time somebody won this that wasn’t a ball handler/scorer? That tends to be the case for who wins it. 

      • Oct 30, 201210:02 am
        by gmehl


        T=You make a good point about a non-ball handler/scorer winning the sixth man award. The last couple of guys that did were: Lamar Odom, Antawn Jamieson, Corliss Williamson and Rodney Rogers. Most of those guys were instant offence too so the probably fit into the scoring model of what you said. Having said that if Drummond did manage to win it then it would be all the more impressive. Hopefully 15-20 games in the big fella is starting anyways so we wont have to worry about it.

      • Oct 30, 201210:12 am
        by tarsier


        Odom wasn’t a big time scorer. He did score at a decent rate. But it was his versatility (including stat sheet stuffing) and defense that really won him the award.

        • Oct 30, 201210:24 am
          by DasMark


          Odom was a ball handler, facilitator for the Lakers, as well as scoring/rebounding. He brought a very well rounded game, opposed to being a one or two dimension player. 

          Here are the last five sixth men of year.
          -James Harden
          -Lamar Odom
          -Jamal Crawford
          -Jason Terry
          -Manu Ginobili

          Not one of them were primarily known for defense or rebounding. 

      • Oct 30, 201212:59 pm
        by Tom Y.


        In the preseason, he had way better per-36 numbers than Davis. He got less minutes, and I guess you could say Davis played more against starters and that affected his numbers.
        Anyway, the regular season is different, but I personally believe Drummond is totally capable of being one of the front runners for ROY, given the minutes. Davis has the buzz for now but that could change quick if Drummond is putting up great numbers, and you know his highlights are going to wow a lot of people. 

    • Oct 30, 201210:14 am
      by tarsier


      If Drummond is contributing enough to really be in the conversation for 6th man, there will have to be a very good reason he isn’t starting. 

  • Oct 30, 20127:31 am
    by geezer


    Vinnie Johnson?

  • Oct 30, 20128:38 am
    by DasMark


    NBA fans everywhere love guys who can sky to block shots 12 feet in the air, and throw down confidence killing dunks on the opposition. Those two skills alone are going to garner Dre a lot of fans. 

    Will he eventually be able to come out and lock down the paint like a D12, Ben Wallace or Kevin Garnett? That will be where his true value will come. Chasing blocks is great highlight material, but not always winning basketball (see: DeAndre Jordan). 

    I’m looking forward to seeing what he does this season, and what kind of leash Frank has on him. Is he going to see big minutes out of the gate? Or limited? 

  • Oct 30, 201210:56 am
    by The Dude


    I agree with the sentiment that if we’re already talking 6th man of the year, what is the reason he is not starting? If he’s doing great with limited minutes why not see if that transfers over with an increase in minutes? The Maxiel argument will only last so long…

  • Oct 30, 201211:09 am
    by vic


    eventually they will have to unleash the Brahma Bull. 
    its just a matter of if its the 1st game, or the 31st game.

    Especially when your team has a habit of coming out sluggish on defense… nothing like a couple of highlight blocks, steals, and dunks to undo those problems.

    Anthony Davis is just as good as he is, with more of an offensive role, so he’s the rookie of the year unless he gets injured. 

    But Drummond will force his way into the convo… he already has.

    The absolute best thing that could happen to Drummond this year is if he hits his own personal goal of leading all rookies in rebounding. That would beat any award or how quick he starts, because that would prove some phenomenal mental growth if he could beat or even match Anthony Davis in rebounding.

  • Oct 30, 201211:33 am
    by koz


    How about Darryl Dawkins for a comparison? Maybe Drummond will be a better scorer, but to have similar numbers to Dawkins wouldn’t be bad. Just be better disciplined and it will happen.

    • Oct 30, 201212:25 pm
      by BIGMARV


      I kinda like that I think a bigger verson of Alonzo Morning is a good comparison too!

  • Oct 30, 201212:24 pm
    by BIGMARV


    This is all good as long as Frank STARTS HIM! get his confidence going early and it will work

  • Oct 30, 201212:39 pm
    by Ray


    None of the players you guy named other than Dwight and 5eandre Jordan has Drummonds vertical …. And neither Dwight or Jordan has Drummonds 270 …. Drummond is the first 270 guy I have even seen do a between the legs dunk or almost dunk from the foul line…. And he running the floor So good…he with get atleast 4-5 give me or clean up baskets every game… I like the cross between dwight and morning

  • Oct 31, 201211:57 am
    by apa8ren9


    The best running big man in the game – Im not feeling this at all.  Thats like saying you are the best knife fighter.  It’s pure hyperbole and looks good on paper.   I do acknowledge that Drummond does run the floor with ease, but all that means is that he has tools/skills to work with.  There is so much in front of him – I know its nice to get excited now and I am getting excited, but lines like this jolt me back to reality cause its a bit over the top – for right now.   I probably will take all of this back at about game 10.  I hope so.

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