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Andre Drummond ranked 29th-best player under 25

As expected when ESPN released its top 25 under 25, Andre Drummond made the “Next 10” list, ranking 29th overall. Amin Elhassan:

This might be a little high for a rookie, but Drummond is a player I’ve scouted since high school and always felt would be a game-changer in the pro game, where he has more space to operate. An elite rebounder on both ends of the floor (offensive rebounding percentage: 16.4; defensive rebounding percentage: 25.7), Drummond combines tremendous size and length with once-in-a-generation athletic ability, including a great "second jump" and excellent reaction time.

Offensively, he is a "go get it" player, meaning his elite catching ability combined with his length and springs allow him to convert bad passes into high-percentage shots (0.687 FG% at the rim). This agility and athleticism also allow him to be a terror on the defensive end, able to protect the rim, guard in the post and show and recover on pick-and-roll coverages. The most underrated aspect of his still-developing game is his passing ability, although the numbers don’t bear it out at this time.

That puts Drummond third among rookies, trailing only Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard. Not bad for someone the Pistons drafted ninth overall.

And it’s interesting Elhassan notes Drummond’s passing ability, a skill not typically recognized. Drummond often shoots immediately after receiving the ball – because his offensive game is based on lobs and putbacks – so there are few opportunities for him to get assists. But every once in a while, he delivers excellent-for-a-big-man passes, which are hopefully a sign of things to come.


  • Jan 24, 20131:14 pm
    by Tiko


    Pistons’ MVP

  • Jan 24, 20131:34 pm
    by Jason


    Luck Detroit….Oh wait, could it have been that Drummond was only available at nine because it was Stern’s gift to Gores for closing on the purchase?  In order to make the team competitive and bring back the Detroit market?  Could the story have been the same story for AD and Tom Benson?  You really think Cleveland and Golden State, two teams with huge holes in the middle, wanted Waiters or Barnes over Drummond?  Let’s just keep things in perspective here.  The league isn’t much different from the WWE.  Stern’s rules are the only rules.

    • Jan 24, 20131:41 pm
      by Desolation Row


      I find this a bit implausible for several reasons, but mainly because if Stern is manipulating things, I doubt he’d have so many teams and media members involved in the process. In this day of social media, WikiLeaks, etc., it is highly improbable at best that so many front offices and personnel associated with these offices could keep all that information secret without something leaking. Not to mention all the scouts and reporters that would have had to be involved with downgrading Drummond’s draft stock. 

      The New Orleans Hornets winning the lottery as an incentive for purchasing the team seems much likelier for the simple reason that it could have easily just involved two individuals to coordinate and execute. I’m a fan of all conspiracy theories, but only if they make sense…

      • Jan 24, 20134:43 pm
        by apa8ren9


        As much as I love these theories when it concerns the NBA, and I really believed them when I was younger -  Its too much.  Even if you never win a championship, if you have a really exciting player they sell tickets and you make money as an owner.  Knowing that and how business works you could not get that past that many people to manipulate a player going to a specific team.  Why do you think Dan Gilbert blew a gasket when Lebron left?  The value of his team dropped by about 100 million.  That is the potential of a start player to a franchise off the court

    • Jan 24, 20131:54 pm
      by jacob


      Drummond didn’t have an impressive year at Uconn and everyone thought he was a project. I’m sure if they redrafted now he would be #1 or #2.

    • Jan 24, 20132:34 pm
      by tarsier


      Most idiotic comment ever. You really believe Stern has that much power? And that if he did, he would rig things that way? When it would be so easy for some other team to just choose to draft Drummond in spite of Stern’s alleged instructions? This idea could never, ever, ever work.

  • Jan 24, 20131:36 pm
    by Desolation Row


    Counting down the calendar days until the trade deadline.
    Counting down the calendar days until I will officially lose my mind if Maxiell is still starting.
    Counting down the calendar days until Maxiell officially offers no value in playing starter’s minutes
    Counting down the calendar days until there is no excuse Drummond should not be playing 30+ mins consistently.
    Counting down the calendar days until the trade deadline.

  • Jan 24, 20132:29 pm
    by vic


    This was not a surprise to me, since Andre’s best characteristics all happen to be in the top 5 of statistics that translate the most accurately from the NCAA to the NBA.
    (2. Blocks/40, 3. Offensive Rebounds/40, 5. Defensive Rebounds/40).


    Guess which statistic is #1 in carrying over from NCAA to NBA?


    Bring on the Burke!

    • Jan 24, 20132:57 pm
      by Keith


      Two notable items that come directly from hickory-high, the website that article stems from. First, he noted that being a great assist man only has little to do with star power in the NBA. Scoring efficiently is still a must as a PG. This is why Chauncey was so great, and why Russell Westbrook gets so much heat. You can get a ton of assists, but you have to be a threat as an offensive player to really make the most of your passing.
      In fact, the weekly stat recap went on to show that having a high assist player on your team made no or a slightly negative impact on team success. The average APG for PGs on winning teams was 6.5. I am not saying a PG has no value or anything, but I think having just a passer is a scapegoat to reality. The fact is, we have a bad offensive scheme and poorly utilized personnel. Sub in Trey Burke (hell, sub in Chris Paul), and we still aren’t a great team. Even Paul only truly excels in the wins department when he has a strong supporting cast and is given freedom to run the team. Lawrence Frank’s grind it out, no spacing, loserball would make top teams worse.
      A good PG is like spice on a hamburger. If it’s good enough, you have a good burger. But no matter how good it is, it can’t stop the burger from being cold or the bun from being soggy.

      • Jan 24, 20133:39 pm
        by vic


        I read those articles too, but I beg to differ with your conclusions.

        There’s no proof that a high assist guard that can also score efficiently is a negative for your team.
        There is, however, proof that a high assist guard that CANNOT score efficiently can be a negative for your team.
        Hence Trey Burke>>>Michael Carter Williams.

        Another concept missing from his research. Pass first players that are not starting pgs. Pass first is a talent not necessarily hidden only in the starting pg.

        Yes while some teams may not have starting PGs, with 10+ assists, most successful championship teams have had pass-first players in other positions. Jason Kidd, Lebron James, Larry Bird.
        As a matter of fact the only teams that have won championships without pass first players are teams with Legendary Coaches (Phil Jackson, Larry Brown, Greg Poppovich).

        His research also did not count overall assists per team. His research did not count turnovers, which is a factor. If you have 10 assists and 11 turnovers that’s worse than 8 assists and 2 turnovers, which is why A/TO ratio is important. (Another win for the underrated Trey Burke).

        So while its true you don’t need a 10+ assist player as your point guard, you do need a pass first player OR an top 1% genius level coach if you actually want to win a championship.

        Also, here are some midseason stats for the Pistons (copied from realgm):

        Pistons is 2nd in Opponent 3-Point Field Goal Percentage, %32.7
        Pistons is 6th in Opponent Assists Per Game, 20.7
        Pistons is 7th in 3-Point Field Goal Percentage, %37.6
        Pistons is 9th in Opponent Points Per Game, 96.1
        Pistons is 9th in Rebounds Per Game, 43.6
        Pistons is 9th in Blocks Per Game, 5.7
        Pistons is 9th in Opponent Field Goal Percentage, %43.9

        bad ones 
        Pistons is 21th in Opponent Offensive Rebounds Per Game, 11.7
        Pistons is 21th in Opponent Blocks Per Game, 5.7
        Pistons is 22th in Opponent Steals Per Game, 8.3
        Pistons is 23th in Assists Per Game, 20.4
        Pistons is 24th in Turnovers Per Game, 15.4
        Pistons is 28th in Assists Per Turnover, 1.33 

        Anyone can see from these rankings that the Pistons biggest weakness in relation to the rest of the NBA is in Assist, turnovers, and Assists/turnover.

        Yes it is that simple. Lose the ball, lose the game. Adding a good decision making pg to the Pistons makes the Pistons a Much Better team, and the numbers don’t lie.

        • Jan 24, 20133:44 pm
          by vic


          I’m not saying Trey Burke is the only solution either.

          I’d take Ben Mclemore or Otto Porter first.
          Trey Burke if those two are not available.

          All 3 of those players are tops at their position in this draft in combination of scoring efficiency and assist/turnover. 

        • Jan 24, 20133:55 pm
          by tarsier


          It’s quite a stretch to call Larry Brown a top 1% coach. In the history of the NBA, I there have probably been between 200 and 400 head coaches. I don’t have an actual number but that seems about right. That would mean that you are saying Larry Brown is at least a top 5 all time coach. He was a good coach, possibly a great one, but nowhere close to that level.

          • Jan 24, 20134:00 pm
            by vic

            The only coach to win a championship in both the NCAA and the NBA, when most coaches flounder like a fish out of water when try to switch?

            That’s why he’s considered one of the greatest.

          • Jan 24, 20135:05 pm
            by apa8ren9

            I’d put Larry Brown up there.  He impressed me when he won a lot of games the year Mark Price was out in Cleveland and Darrel or Darnell Valentine was their point guard.

  • Jan 24, 20132:35 pm
    by tarsier


    At least one person thinks Drummond should make the all-star team. And not even in one of the last two spots.


  • Jan 24, 20132:40 pm
    by Keith


    Every new article praising Drummond as a player and predicting his future just makes me sad. Sad to know that no matter how good he is, he’s still going to be playing for Lawrence Frank and have Joe Dumars trying to surround him with talent.

    • Jan 24, 20132:44 pm
      by vic



      That’s why i don’t stop pushing for the next piece. Once he figures out how good he is he’s just going to be another frustrated Dwight Howard if he doesn’t get the right pieces surrounding him.

      • Jan 24, 20133:01 pm
        by Keith


        And team history suggests that’s exactly what is going to happen. Frank will eventually wear on him, Joe will never get fitting pieces, and while he’ll feel loyal towards the fans he just won’t be able to stomach sticking around as we continuously rebuild. As childish as Dwight was with everything, I don’t fault him one bit for jumping off that sinking ship. Orlando’s GM had consistently made bad deals and worse signings (remind you of anyone?). The team had one good player outside Dwight, and not nearly enough to contend. After 7 years, what else could Dwight do?

        • Jan 24, 20133:04 pm
          by tarsier


          He could shut his mouth until he made up his mind. Admittedly, that’s a lot to ask of an immature young man. And I don’t think he is a bad person for not having done so. But a lot of the backlash is because of all his waffling. If he had just contemplated what he wanted and waited until he came to a decision to start speaking his mind to the media, he would come across a lot less like a spoiled brat.

      • Jan 24, 20133:07 pm
        by tarsier


        To be fair, at least Drummond has Monroe next to him (well on the same team anyway, they are rarely on the floor or on the bench together). One more good piece should not be hard to come by. If Drummond can get to the level of 2009-2011 Dwight, the Pistons should have at least a second tier contender on their hands.

        • Jan 24, 20133:27 pm
          by Keith


          Agreed. If Drummond can even be 90% what Dwight was, that gives us two very high quality big men. Certainly we’ve seen how far that will take you (Orlando went to the finals when Nelson and Turkoglu were at their best), but also how far it won’t take you these days (IMO, Miami and OKC are better than LA was against Orlando).
          One more good piece should probably be a big time scorer with range. McElmore and Muhammed make a lot of sense, but we likely won’t be picking that high. But the other pieces are available. Knight as more of a third/fourth option who can get in the lane and hit threes is a great role player. Eventually swapping Tay for a defensive stopper shouldn’t be too hard as well. Give us a SG that can command defensive attention, and we could have a real team on our hands. Of course, that’s all assuming Frank doesn’t keep sabotaging his own players.

          • Jan 24, 20134:07 pm
            by tarsier

            Yeah, first-tier contender status will be tough to attain without an all-time great. I mean, Dirk Nowitzki and Ben Wallace were the worst players to be the best player on a championship team since pre-Jordan. And heck, the next worst was Garnett. Since then, every other championship team has contained Jordan, Olajuwon, Duncan, Shaq, Kobe, or LeBron. And often multiple of these or other HOFs as well. Every one of those guys is a lock to someday be considered at least a top 15 player all-time. Garnett and Wade will also be top 25, maybe even Pierce.

            So about once per decade, a team can break through and get to the top when their best player is “just” on the Wallace/Nowitzki level. 

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