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Andre Drummond deftly explains why he fell in the draft

Jonathan Abrams of Grantland wrote a fantastic feature on Andre Drummond. Among the highlights:

  • Darko Milicic wanted to tear off his suit Superman-style on draft night to reveal a Pistons jersey, but Joe Dumars talked him out of it.
  • Drummond has wanted to be a guard for a long time.
  • Drummond lived with his mom last year, but now they have separate places, though are still close enough that he frequently goes over for dinner.

These excerpts about Drummond’s draft stock particularly resonated with me:

Questions about his "motor" and "desire" continued to follow him. According to those close to Drummond, there are several possibilities for the rumors’ origins. Maybe it was because he smiled when he played, rather than scowled. Or maybe it was the AAU teams Drummond chose not to play for that floated the rumors out of jealousy. Or maybe Drummond knows the real reason.

"Honestly, I think it was just because of the way I played at UConn," Drummond said. "I didn’t have the best year. We lost in the first round and I think there was a lot of weight on my shoulders knowing that I didn’t play the way I was supposed to play."

Kudos to Drummond for his answer, both because he accepts personal responsibility and because it’s the correct assessment.

Whether or not AAU coaches were petty or scouts were unreasonable about smiles, the fact doesn’t change: Drummond had a dissapointing year at Connecticut. Drummond wasn’t bad, but given expectations, he underwhelmed.

Drummond fell in the draft because his potentially for busting was higher than the average prospect of his ability. His performance at UConn certainly contributed, and so did his profile as a raw big man, a profile that didn’t change much during his year in college. Joe Dumars, via Abrams:

"Whenever you take a raw, young player, there’s a risk to it," Dumars said. "I don’t know if you can ever eliminate the risk of taking young big men. I just think you have to have faith that if you take a young big and it doesn’t work out, I don’t think you can be gun-shy about the next young big that comes along, like an Andre. There’s no foolproof method to this. There’s no exact science to this. We saw Andre and the thought of not taking him because Darko didn’t work out never entered the equation. Not even remotely. It’s a part of this business."

But Drummond never should have fallen as far as he did. (I had him pegged No. 4 on my draft board, as did this site’s readers.) Teams lost track of how great Drummond’s upside was. Instead, they dwelled on the possible downside.

Thankfully, Dumars didn’t make that mistake.

Drummond answered the call by working hard to fix the issues that hindered him at UConn, and now, he’s a much better bet to reach his potential. I’d venture to guess that wouldn’t have happened if he blamed others for his draft stock falling.

5 Comments

  • Oct 18, 201312:09 pm
    by I HATE FRANK

    Reply

    Dont underrate a quality “Scowle”…. Look at what it did for Kendrick Perkins…hell look at what its still doing for Kendrick Perkins…

    And Dumars should have allow Darko to rip away his suit…it would have been a great story, maybe changed his career. Only if i had a time machine

  • Oct 18, 201312:52 pm
    by Kobina

    Reply

    I love this kid!  He’s the superstar we’ve wanted for so long; just give him 2 more years.

    I HATE FRANK – If we had a Time Machine, we take Wade and the South Beach Super Friends would be leading the Pistons to our 7-9th Championships.

     

    • Oct 18, 20132:17 pm
      by I HATE FRANK

      Reply

      We might have got back to back titles…but then Rip would have became Jealous of Wade threathen by his abilities then demanded a trade or more likely Rip would have turned all of the Vets against Wade as well…

      At this point Larry Brown would have been done jumped ship, and Flip Saunders would have lost control…

      Dumars would be forced to Trade Wade, send him to Portland…. we get the 1st pick in the 2007 draft… Dumars thinking soon Ben and Rasheed arent going to play at a high level anymore…

      He takes Greg Oden over Durant ( I mean we still have Prince)

      and the rest is history

      • Oct 18, 20132:59 pm
        by tarsier

        Reply

        Portland would not have traded the first overall pick for Wade when their best player was Brandon Roy and Greg Oden looked soooo good.

  • Oct 20, 20139:13 pm
    by 3339

    Reply

    Sheed is going to be a great coach for Dre

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