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Andre Drummond on pace to post best PER by a teenager in NBA history

As pointed out by Tom Haberstroh of ESPN, Andre Drummond is on pace to finish with the best PER by a teenager in NBA history. The leaderboard (minimum 40 minutes):

Rk Player Season Age Tm PER
1 Andre Drummond 2012-13 19 DET 21.9
2 Kyrie Irving 2011-12 19 CLE 21.4
3 Amir Johnson 2006-07 19 DET 20.6
4 Tracy McGrady 1998-99 19 TOR 20.6
5 Anthony Davis 2012-13 19 NOH 19.7
6 Kobe Bryant 1997-98 19 LAL 18.5
7 LeBron James 2003-04 19 CLE 18.3
8 Carmelo Anthony 2003-04 19 DEN 17.6
9 Tracy McGrady 1997-98 18 TOR 17.4
10 Dwight Howard 2004-05 19 ORL 17.2

Want more Drummond porn?

This is where we arrive at the most logical destination when we talk about young talents: Who is his best comp?

To answer that question, we turn to fellow ESPN Insider Kevin Pelton, whose SCHOENE player projection system uses key player stats, as well as height and weight, to identify the most similar predecessors at the same age (ranked from zero to 100, with 100 being the most similar).

For Drummond, that’s Dwight Howard. By a healthy margin.

Want to gush over Drummond even more? You’ll have to read Haberstroh’s article. There’s too much Drummond love for me to excerpt.


  • Jan 16, 20134:14 pm
    by Al


    Drummond PORN????????????????????????????

  • Jan 16, 20134:17 pm
    by Fennis


    Love Drummond, but at this point the hype is excessive. Let the guy grow into how own. Dwight Howard is not a reasonable expectation.

    • Jan 17, 20138:41 am
      by G


      Disagree. Dwight Howard is a completely reasonable expectation. It’s hard to see right now because Drummond is averaging less than 20 min a game and Dwight played 32.6 per game his rookie season. If you compare their numbers per 36 minutes, Drummond’s are better across the board. His offensive game is about as diverse as Dwight’s was (remember, all he did was dunk the first 5 years of his career), they both have the same body type, and Drummond might actually be more athletic.

      It’s not to say Drummond will get the same type of production Dwight did, but he certainly looks like the same type of player. I’ll take that any day, especially out of the #9 draft pick.

      • Jan 17, 20139:44 am
        by danny


        drummond is going to be better than dwight.  I expect him to be he is bigger stronger and more athletic than dh.  Plus he doesn’t seem like a baby complaining all the time.  AD just needs to learn the game more.  Bring in big ben and watch him tutor him.

  • Jan 16, 20134:31 pm
    by Desolation Row


    I don’t have Insider access, but I will temper this assessment with one key metric: minutes. PER inevitably declines as a player is required to play more minutes (more fatigue per minute, stiffer competition in starting unit, etc). I don’t think he’d fall out of that company he’s listed with, but he’d likely decline below Dwight Howard if he played at a comparable amount to what Howard played at 19.

    All buzzkilling aside, DRE’S BETTER THAN KOBE!!!!!

    - NBA hipster 

    • Jan 16, 20135:28 pm
      by jerrific


      Very true. Hence Amir Johnson appearing third on the list.  

  • Jan 16, 20134:32 pm
    by Brigs


    Idk if Drummond will ever avg 20 pts a game but I think he will definetly be as good if not better then Howard on the defensive and rebounding aspects of the game. When Drummond starts getting 30+ mins a nite next year I predict he will avg 10-13 pts 10-12 rebs and 2.5 blks And then every gm not located in N.o will cry themselves to sleep every night

  • Jan 16, 20134:54 pm
    by Corey


    Drummond will likely be better than Howard, barring severe injury. Drummond already has skills with the ball that Howard has NEVER had. How many times have you seen Howard steal the ball while showing on screen-and-roll D and then take off to the other end of the floor as a one-man fast break, ending in a thunderous jam? I’ve never seen Howard do it, and I’ve seen Drummond do it several times in less than half of his rookie year.

    It’s kind of odd how it’s worked out, but Detroit has lucked (both should have been drafted earlier) into two big men who handle the ball shockingly well for their size.

  • Jan 16, 20135:05 pm
    by Big Rick


    It is what it is. Drummond seems to be the real deal so far, and it’s just the beginning. The sky seems to be the limit and it’s all up to him.

    Last night I was listening to satellite radio and I just happen to catch some rare fantasy basketball talk. They were talking about surprise rookies, sleeper rookies and standouts. Of course the hosts of the show went for the popular choices of Daman Lillard and The Unibrow. For some reason Jae Crowder came up a few times with no mention of Drummond, Beal, Henson, or MKG. (Side note: Their basketball knowledge seemed rather limited, and it had me wondering how in the hell did they get blessed with an opportunity to host a sports show in the 1st place.” 
    Just as I was getting pissed at the obvious snubs and about to change the station they had a “surprise” guest David Aldridge. He spoke very highly of Drummond, saying that we “have a potential franchise player and that although he plays limited minutes he makes an impact in every game he plays.” He also mentioned that alongside Greg Monroe we potentially have a very formidable frontcourt and 2 solid building blocks for the future. Also, that the Pistons hope that Brandon Knight can improve his point guard play and become that 3rd building block. Spot on analysis by someone’s opinion and insight is highly respected throughout the league and by many fans.

  • Jan 16, 20135:19 pm
    by Mongo Slade


    I think that was the same David Aldridge who was disappointed with Detroit for making that pic glad he came around.

  • Jan 16, 20135:58 pm
    by DG


    For the record Drummond has already played 6 times as many minutes as Amir Johnson’s 124 from 06-07.  The rest of the names are pretty good company.He’s gonna be scary when he develops a little more – especially if he conditions his body like Dwight Howard does his.

    • Jan 17, 201312:45 am
      by tarsier


      I feel like the 40 minute minimum was specifically chosen to deny Amir’s 39 minute rookie year.

    • Jan 17, 201310:04 am
      by XstreamINsanity


      This article really makes me recognize the fact that I’m a homer.  :)

  • Jan 16, 20136:42 pm
    by TRJ


    Some people are going to be annoyed by the DH comparisons, and some will get really excited. I’m a little surprised it took so long, myself.

    There was a shot after some call was made in the Pistons second game against the Lakers where Andre and Dwight were standing next to each other. It got fixed in my mind because of how strikingly similar their frames are. Howard has more muscle, but he’s had some years to work at it. It seems very reasonable to allow for DH (or DH+) as a potential high-end outcome for Drummond. He’s got the size, he just needs to pack on some more muscle. He’s got the athleticism and agility (if not more) but with a better touch and something that looks like a handle. Ridiculous potential, IMO. And reason enough to be optimistic, really.

    I’d be interested to see it again if anyone has that clip from the Lakers game (or a similar one). 

    • Jan 16, 201310:07 pm
      by Mrshourite


      Good point TRJ, like you mentioned it took Dwight a few years to get buff. He came into the league more frail than Awesome Dre. He wasn’t Anthony Davis skinny, but he came a long way since then. Andre is much heavier and still has major athleticism. Just imagine once he sheds that baby weight and tones up. 

      • Jan 17, 201312:46 am
        by tarsier


        You think Dre has baby fat?

  • Jan 16, 20136:45 pm
    by Mrshourite


    Anybody else find it odd that the Cavs have 4 lottery picks; at least 3 in the top 10 if not all, (forgot where Zeller was picked) in the last 2 years. Wonder how many lottery picks they’ll get this year. 

    • Jan 16, 20137:43 pm
      by DG


      One, but they’ll also get the Heat pick courtesy some dude named LeBron James.  Two of the top ten picks have been their own.  Only one not was drafting Kyrie Irving drafted first via the Los Angeles Clippers pick they acquired via trade…totally legit for sure.  The league wouldn’t compensate Cavs fans for losing LBJ at all.

  • Jan 16, 20137:02 pm
    by mixmasta


    Watching Drummond right now and not missing any moment is more important for me. The present only ensures the future. Let’s enjoy watching him NOW and net get ahead of ourselves here. We’ll get there when we get there. :)

  • Jan 16, 20138:32 pm
    by SpringsDrummond


    @TRJ if you have a chance to go to the palace they have a picture of Drummond shooting over Howard for sale

  • Jan 16, 201310:09 pm
    by Mrshourite


    It’s fun now to watch him now and it’s also fun to speculate, LOL. Not a lot of trade talk going on besides the usual suspects. Seems like Josh Smith, Gasol, Milsap and Big Al Jefferson stay on the trade block.

  • Jan 17, 201312:33 am
    by Mark


    I continue to enjoy the fact that while the Lakers spent 2 years trying to get Dwight, who now appears like a shell of his former self, the Pistons go under the radar and nab Drummond, who now looks like he’s going to be better than Howard in a few years.

    Always enjoy the Pistons 1 upping the Lakers. 

  • Jan 17, 20138:54 am
    by G


    Remember this about Dwight – he never QUITE reached what he was supposed to be. Very athletic, a beast down low, but he never really developed much of an offensive game. He goal-tended a lot, was constantly in foul trouble, and never developed into the go-to offensive force he was supposed to.

    If Drummond wants to surpass him, he’ll have to work on the free throws, practice footwork in the post, study film and stay in shape. That’s it.

    • Jan 17, 201310:00 am
      by D. Stewart


      It’s interesting that you write about Howard in the past tense because that’s how I view him, too. It’s almost like his career is winding down already. I always thought he lacked drive and passion for the game. Kevin Garnett has drive. Bill Laimbeer had drive. Kobe and LeBron have drive. But Howard strikes me as immature and somewhat “silly.” Not at all serious about the game itself. My hope is that Drummond takes on all of Howard’s strong points and shuns the immaturity and silliness that have defined Howard’s career. I know he’s only 19, but Dre’s got a good shot at becoming a special NBA player. And it’s never too soon to start developing that fierce determination that it takes to be dominant. Howard never quite got the message and in my opinion he’s still way too lackadaisical in his approach to ever be the focal point of a championship team.

      • Jan 17, 20131:29 pm
        by MIKEYDE248


        I concider Howard a lot like Shaq, someone who has a lot of talent, but never really took to the point where they said, I’m going to be the best.  For Shaq it was never keeping his body in shape, for Howard, it’s not developing more of an outside shot.  I guess if you can score 20 some point every game in the paint, why work with an outside shot.

        Drummond needs to develope more range and practice free throws til it hurts.

  • Jan 17, 20139:55 am


    Im Late… but PLEASE Look at Dwights Offense….

    he basically has a running hook shot… THATS IT…

    Right now, LIKE I SIDE TO PATRICK MONTHS AGO…back in Summer League

    Drummond is way ahead of Howard on the Skill Level…

    He might even be more mature than Howard…. as soon as he gets a feel for the game…he can be this leagues next dominate Big

  • Jan 17, 201311:38 am
    by Big Rick


    Aren’t we all? Lol

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