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David Thorpe: Andre Drummond ‘should have gone second in this draft’

David Thorpe of ESPN assigned superlatives to the rookie class, and Andre Drummond cleaned up:

Best shot-blocker(s): Davis and Drummond

To share this award with Davis says a lot about Drummond, considering what a special shot-blocker Davis is and will be for a decade-plus. Davis is more calculating, in part because he needs to play big minutes for his team, so risking fouls is something he has to be mindful of.

Drummond blocks more shots per minute, but he is less concerned about fouls, so he goes after more shots. Having Greg Monroe next to him helps him. It is fair to think that one day these two rooks will both be in the top four in this category in the entire league.

Best rebounder: Andre Drummond, Pistons

Some rebounders are tall and long, so they can get their hands on a lot of balls. Others have great hands, so the ball sticks when they touch it. Undersized players need a motor, along with good hands, to get to the ball and rebound. Then we have Drummond, who has combined all three components to become dominant on the glass. He has also added some craft to his art, deftly tipping the ball away from opponents to spots he can get to first. Drummond has the potential to one day lead this league in rebounding.

Biggest surprise: Drummond

Questions about his desire to play hovered around Drummond last June, as did concerns about his offensive game and feel. But it’s clear that Drummond should have gone second in this draft, which easily makes him the biggest surprise. Players like Drummond — glass-eating, shot-blocking, paint-finishing, lob-catching, quick-in-transition beasts — are exceedingly rare. He looks to be a franchise big man with very strong All-Star potential.

In a re-done draft, Anthony Davis, Drummond and Damian Lillard are definitely the first three picks. The order would probably vary based on the selector, but I’d take Davis, Drummond, Lillard in that order – and Drummond is closer to Davis than Lillard.


  • Jan 26, 20132:44 pm
    by Ozzie-Moto


    JD and Frank’s Byzantine attitudes:   I am going to predict something that will drive the majority of Detroit Piston fans to near riot.  It is going to take a call for Gores to get Drummond the time on the court he deserves. If the call doesn’t come soon I can see this 20 min a game and NOT getting down to really seeing if the “Front Court of the Future ”  works (playing Due and Monroe together) continuing into next year.  YES next year. 

    There has been and continues to be some fundamentally wrong with player development and who get to play in Detroit for some time now. There is no way to get around it. Erratic players. Players getting 2 points and 2 rebounds a game, Players playing out of position etc etc. It never seems to end on JD rosters and with the recent batch of coaches. (remember back when Prince could get in the line up and we were play CURRY at small forward )  It some sort of old boy club mentality. (as was Curry’s choice as a coach ) It has no business in the modern NBA.

    As with the coaching choices something stinks… Curry, Kuesters and now Frank.  None of them seems to have any real coaching ability. There is something a miss and the only real thread is Joe D himself, He may be a great guy but has lost what it takes and refuses to either build or trade, just keeps the old players around as long as he can.   TiME FOR CHANGES AT THE TOP.

    • Jan 26, 20132:49 pm
      by Ozzie-Moto


      Typo should read:  (remember back when Prince couldn’t get in the line up and we were play CURRY at small forward ) 

  • Jan 26, 20134:38 pm
    by SpringsDrummond


    I think we’ll trade Andre for a second round pick. See? We can all make radical statements. Even your correction makes you sound dumb. You have no knowledge of the thinking that goes on inside the organization. I’m not saying I agree with all things that are going on but I hate when dumb fans act as if they have some inside information. That is all 

  • Jan 26, 20136:50 pm
    by Sop


    This is what I was saying all of last year and it’s why I thought we had no chance to get him. (Although I did think MKG would be as good as Drummond) Both Drummond and Monroe had their draft stock suffer from being mislabeled as guys with motors.

  • Jan 26, 20137:27 pm
    by Venice


    Theres no need to get so worked up. The coaches especially LF knows how to handle these guys. Even AD1 has to get some CONDITIONING first. If you look at the boxscores, you can see that Drummond’s PT is steadily increasing. Even Dwight is lighter than Drummond though they have similar height. I am solo frustrated with the way the coaching staff handles the team but, it is better to let them handle it. IF you look closely,this team is significantly better than the KUESTER ERA. Give them 1 year or two and we will be back with the playoff mix. Give LF credit for  helping Drummond with his a career. in a short span of time, LF helped drummond with his motor issues when 99 percent of the mock drafts compare Drummond with KWAME BROWN and now with only half a season with his belt, he is already compared to the next DWIGHT HOWARD OR AMARE STOUDAMIRE.

    • Jan 26, 20138:03 pm
      by M Boyd


      I agree, people need to calm down.  Personally I dont want Drummond to start yet because this team needs a scorer in th lottery before they r ready to compete in th East again.  This team shows signs of being a possible contender in the East for years to come, but they lack that pure scorer.  I think when they get that piece this team will start rolling.  Also give Knight a scorer to pass to his assist numbers will increase.

      i like Anthony Bennitt from UNLV if he is available.

      • Jan 26, 20138:39 pm
        by Venice


        Yes thats true. if we can only get OJ MAYO this offseason. Its only been 4 yrs since the last time we were in playoffs. Most of the teams even take a decade to return to playoffs and all of us know that nxt year if we can only get that scorer in the SG position we will be back in the postseason. Let’s just be happy that we always got lucky with what the management drafted and our future is bright with these players happy with staying here and proud to be a DETROIT PISTON.

        • Jan 26, 201310:32 pm
          by Mark


          Love your thought process with regards to trying to acquire OJ Mayo. Like his game a lot because he can hit the 3 and create his own shot. Not sure what it’s going to cost to get him, I’m guessing around 8 million a year. This would be a good move and would give us a nice squad with Singler and Mayo playing wing positions.

          • Jan 26, 201311:02 pm
            by Venice

            Nah I think 10 mil sounds reasonable for us to snag him.I think its better for us to develop Middleton for he is better suited at the starting position in the future than Singler.If Moose can just develop his mid range shot. Amnesty Charlie V.,sign Calderon and Hickson. Calderon can help BK with his game and We will have a taller and younger version of Maxiell in Hickson.our lineup would be like this:
            PG:Knight,Calderon,3rd PG
            PF: Monroe,Hickson
            C: Drummond,Slava 

            Thats just my wishful thinking. 

        • Jan 27, 201312:58 am
          by Bo


          No. No. No. Don’t spend big dollars on Mayo. Draft Ben McLemore! Dynamic, athletic shooting guard with size. THAT is what we need. He can grow with Drummond, Knight, Monroe, and JJ…

          If I had my way (and the stars aligned for me), here’s my lineup….

          PG: Knight (Calderon?/Bynum?)
          SG: McLemore (Stuckey…I’m not against moving him/English)
          C: Drummond (Slava)
          PF: Monroe (Charlie…I like the stretch four addition he brings…and he’s an expiring contract)
          SF: Jerebko (Singler/Middleton)

          I LOVE that young, athletic starting five! 


          • Jan 27, 20132:18 am
            by Venice

            Well there’s at least 5 percent chance to draft him. Lets be realistic here and pick Mayo .Im opposed in giving Mayo that big salary but what can you expect? Do you think we can get him with less money when he can get it with other teams with Championship potential? I don’t think so. Lets say the stars aligned and we get McLemore, With Drummond and Monroe commanding MAX SALARY in the future and Knight around 8-10 mil, Do you think we can afford another max salary and still put some pieces to contend ?We are not Miami, LA, nor Dallas.

  • Jan 26, 20138:38 pm
    by gmehl


    “He has also added some craft to his art, deftly tipping the ball away from opponents to spots he can get to first”.

    This is a very good comment by Thorpe…Drummond kind of reminds me of a 6’10 Dennis Rodman the way he tips the ball to himself. The one thing Dennis would’ve had on Drummond is that he was fast on his second jump on a rebounding effort. Other guys could jump high but Dennis could jump high on both rebounding efforts which is why when he tapped it to himself no one could get it from him. I really feel we have something similar to him in Drummond.

  • Jan 26, 20139:51 pm
    by sloppy joe


    Not every year you see 2 bigmen with this kind of potential come out of the same draft.  The brow and the nose… Is that racist?

  • Jan 26, 20139:52 pm


    I hate being the guy that says … I told you so…

    Drummond was projected as the number 1 pick in the draft since he was a jr in High…. ONLY person he fell was because he went to Uconn…had he played Prep Basketball for half a year… No way he slips… I like MGK but I said it then he is 6-10 talent…not number 2 talent … He plays hard but he is just a good player that will get better over time…would have loved him in Detroit … But no way I’d take him over Beal

  • Jan 26, 201310:09 pm
    by tim


    I find it weird that thorpe acts like drummond is foul prone.  Dude may take more risks, but neither he nore davis are anywhere close to foul prone.  

    • Jan 27, 20132:21 am
      by gmehl


      Yeah being foul prone usually comes down to having no motor which causes you to foul a lot because your fatigued. I don’t agree with it but hopefully this is what Frank is doing with Drummond (building his motor gradually). I personally think Drummond should see extended minutes the rest of the season cause that tank needs to be running all game long next season.

  • Jan 26, 201310:19 pm
    by Mark


    Interesting read on NBAtradeaday.com…says trade Moose and Prince for Boogie and Garcia…like this move…I know Monroe had a good game yesterday vs. Heat but his upside is not nearly as good as Boogie…would love to see a tandem of Moose and Drummond…I’d actually start going to Pistons games if this happened…in 5 years Boogie will be better than Monroe…that’s what it comes down to to me…Joe’s gotta make this trade 

    • Jan 27, 20131:02 am
      by Bo


      Do it! Do it! Do it! 

      Trade Prince/Monroe for Cousins/Garcia!


      Do it yesterday! 

  • Jan 26, 201310:19 pm
    by Revken


    I am just incredibly happy Andre Drummond is a Piston!  Silly to focus too much on the negatives when there is so much to be pleased with about a future frontline of Monroe & Drummond.  They could become the best C-PF pair in the league.

    • Jan 26, 201310:25 pm
      by Mark


      Doesn’t look like they can play together…Monroe clogs lane cus he’s scared to shoot the 15 footer for some reason…I thought he had a nice mid-range game…why doesn’t he take that shot anymore?

      • Jan 27, 20132:29 pm
        by frankie d


        of course they can play together.
        monroe just has to develop that consistent midrange shot and everything comes together.
        as i’ve noted before, it appeared that he made a specific attempt to eschew that shot and try to get to the free throw line this year.  that change in his game led him to go through all kinds of ridiculous and ineffective fakes to try to get his defender to bite on the shot fake.  once teams scouted detroit this year, saw his hesitancy, and adjusted, monroe failed to make his counter-adjustment.  he should have simply started taking that open shot, without hesitation.   instead, he kept trying that fake, which no one ever took seriously, kept driving the ball into sagging defenses, and his game and confidence suffered.
        monroe will be fine.  his offensive game – including his shot – will be fine.  
        typically, however, detroit – and yes, i blame coaches here, as it is something the coaches have to be involved with – has been slow to react and adjust to what other teams are doing.
        once he starts taking that shot – and making it – he’ll mesh perfectly with drummond, and they will be a devastating big man pairing.

  • Jan 27, 201312:06 am
    by HardyHar


    You guys might appreciate this read. It talks specifically about why bringing Drummond along slowly might be in everyone’s best interest. There is a nice video breakdown too. 

    • Jan 27, 20132:50 pm
      by frankie d


      don’t have any objection to drummond not playing 35 minutes a game yet.
      he should, however, be playing more with monroe.
      the fact that the spacing is so poor with the starters is because of frank’s failure to put a game plan and a lineup on the floor that works, rather than some inherent problem playing monroe and drummond together.  make tay stay out in 3 point land, instead of migrating to the midrange on his isolation plays, keep monroe near the high post, unless he is screening for drummond, weak side, keep 3 shooters out there at all times, and you have more than enough space. 
      fans forget that the reason the whole “stretch 4″ fad started was because there were so few bigs with big man skills.  detroit now has a couple of those guys.  it is a rare situation and can be a huge advantage.
      the coach just has to figure out how to best utilize those big guys and then force other teams to adjust to our guys.

  • Jan 27, 201311:03 am
    by Tom Y.


    I think he’ll be better than Davis (in fact the per minute and advanced numbers say he already is). So I’m actually glad we didn’t get the 1st pick in the draft. 

    My not so far-fetched fantasy lineup next year:

    Trey Burke/Knight
    Kim English/Knight

    A great distributing, P&R point guard to run the offense, English starts next to him because he can guard SG’s. Three shooters on the floor at all times (4 when CV plays) makes for great spacing for Andre and Moose. Alll it takes is drafting Burke, who looks within our range for now. If he rises to top-5, we can use some assets (Bynum, Max, JJ) to trade higher. Knight may still get there but it’s not looking like it right now and Burke looks like he’s already beyond what Knight’s ceiling as a passer and floor general could be.

    • Jan 27, 20132:53 pm
      by frankie d


      agree 100%.
      i’m amzed when i read posts that argue that a mayo type scorer is the team’s biggest need.  it is almost as though they have not been watching pistons’ ball for the last few years.
      a guy like burke will make all of the team’s odd talent come together.
      of course, it would help immensely if you could have a guy with burke’s skills and michael carter williams size, but considering the real options, it won’t get any better than trey burke.  
      i just hope joe d doesn’t overlook the answer to his team’s problems, right in his own backyard. 

      • Jan 27, 20135:44 pm
        by Venice


        Well we have our own opinions on how to make the team better.For Christ’s sake, Knight is just 20 years old.He’s just been in the league for a year. We all know that playing in the NBA is the hard and he has the hardest position to learn. Let the kid develop.It’s just been a year (lockout year) and he deserves to atleast have more time to develop. Many  players will be considered a bust if hes just given a year and already been questioned.

        • Jan 27, 20139:21 pm
          by frankie d


          i like knight and think he can be a good, solid, maybe borderline nba player.
          but i dont think he has the head to be a point guard.
          today’s game is a great example of how he can play if he doesn’t have the burden of running the offense.
          bynum is a poor man’s trey burke.
          get the real thing next to knight and i think you have a great backcourt.
          especially if you have a shotblocker like drummond there to make up for the relatively small size of your guards. 

  • Jan 27, 201311:36 am
    by Ozzie-Moto


    OK hopefully my comments above are over the top and some sanity will rein but still seems like a team stuck in the past. Note the stories today that it is not not Durmmond but it is Monroe that needs to get up to speed to play the 4 (Some what true) but if if you have a game with a stretch 4 that Monroe can cover switch up and let Dru cover him.  IF he can guard D Wade i think he can pick up guarding a stretch 4..  Some how there always a reason not to get one with rebuilding the New Detroit Pistons 

    • Jan 27, 20132:32 pm
      by frankie d


      his ability to guard the pick and roll is incredible, almost ben wallace-esque. 
      can you imagine how good he’ll be once he really knows what he is doing? 
      can you imagine how much farther along he would be if he’d been tutored by big ben all season? 

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