David Thorpe of ESPN rated every NBA 19-year-old rookie “purely on the level of his ceiling, how good the player can ultimately be if given the perfect situation,” so of course, Andre Drummond fared pretty well:
1. Andre Drummond, Pistons
There are many ways to define talent. But for the sake of this report, I like to define talent as "production minus mechanics." That is, someone who is very productive and efficient without really knowing what he’s doing is extremely talented. Like Drummond.
Last April, I wrote that Drummond could be an All-Star in his second or third season, if he developed according to plan, because there are so few men on earth who can move like he can at his size and length. But he’s even better than I projected. There is no one else in this age group who has his collection of tools. The fact that he’s doing so much without understanding the game suggests he can truly dominate beginning as early as next season and lasting over a decade. When you can own the paint on both ends, you become a superstar, and Drummond has that in his reach.
If he can develop just an average free throw stroke, he can become a multiple-time All-Star — yes, even without any kind of reliable post move. And that is the beauty of being just 19 years old — he has years to develop more than just his free throw shooting. As he begins to read and anticipate while also crafting his game, he’ll improve even more than he has since high school.
If rating every NBA rookie – or maybe even every NBA player – were rated on that same scale, Drummond still might come out on top (though, I’d certainly put LeBron James ahead of him).
Thorpe’s most scintillating point about Drummond actually came in the Anthony Davis section:
If the draft were held today, it’s absolutely possible — maybe even likely — that Drummond would go No. 1 overall.
I would take Davis, but it’s basically a tossup, and I could change my mind by tomorrow. Who would you take?
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