(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
We have a couple weeks before we are going to get a chance to see the newest Pistons in uniform and between now and then, and even leading up to training camp, there is probably going to be heated arguments over the Pistons No. 1 pick, Andre Drummond.
Some see a "man-child" with crazy athleticism and the chance to be a physically dominating center in the mold of Dwight Howard. Others see a kid who should have been a senior in high school who was wildly inconsistent, a poor defensive rebounder and armed with an atrocious offensive game that included a 29 percent free-throw mark that makes Ben Wallace look like Ray Allen.
We will see eventually but until then we'll provide as much information as we can on Drummond and the other Pistons draft picks.
He's a project ,and anyone looking to draft him must remain patient. .. Maximizing his development will require the right situation, so he would be best suited in an organization with direction (not Charlotte) ... He needs tremendous polish offensively, but if he hits his stride, Drummond has arguably the highest ceiling of anyone in his class based on his rare physical attributes.
On one hand, Drummond's long-term potential is obvious. With his tremendous size, frame, length and mobility, his elite physical tools put him in the same class as NBA centers such as Andrew Bynum, Greg Oden, Dwight Howard and Derrick Favors. Not turning 19 until August, he was the second youngest prospect in college basketball this year after Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
On the other hand, Drummond's actual on-court production this season was nowhere near what you would expect from a future NBA lottery pick, at least on the offensive end. He ranks just 76th in points per-40 minutes pace adjusted among the 85 collegiate players in our top-100 prospects ranking, and 47th in PER.
His solid offensive rebounding rate and shot-blocking production are encouraging signs which give us a pretty good idea of which areas he's most ready to contribute in immediately in the NBA until the rest of his all-around game hopefully rounds out.
Was most impressive as a shot blocker as well, turning away 2.7 per game and 3.8 per 40 minutes in his freshman year. With his physicality, notably with size, length and strength, he can "body up" and hold his ground as a solid post defender. Very good help defender who does a good job of protecting the paint and covering on rotations as well. Good pick and roll defender who can hard show on screens and recover promptly. Has good lateral quickness to defend the perimeter for a big and switch on shows. Loves to gamble in passing lanes, perhaps too much, which can leave him out of position for the other team to get an easy basket at the expense of his error. Decent shot contester on the perimeter, but is distinguishing himself in paint as a post defender who can bother his man.
Swish Scout also has written breakdowns and videos highlighting several factors in Drummond's game including: Athleticism, Build, Shooting, Ball Handling, Passing, Rebounding, Defense, Basketball IQ, NBA Readiness and Potential.
In his own words
Draft Combine interview:
Drummond calls into Pistons draft party.
Drummond talks about joining "brotherhood" in Detroit after getting drafted. Also mentions Pistons players Greg, Brandon and Ben. Wonder which Ben he was referring to ...
Run the floor hard, play hard, grab rebounds and block shots. You know, the offense will come to me.
"As soon as I get up there and play in the summer league, all that talk about my motor will be put to rest and put to bed immediately," Drummond said, and if it matters, he does sound beyond his years.
Dumars explains how he learned from the Darko mistake so that he never makes it again:
"There's a certain point in the draft where a guy's value just outweighs any other concerns," Dumars said. "If he falls to No. 9, the value is too good to worry about what could possibly be the downside. Because you don't know the next time you're gonna be in a position to get this type of physical specimen."
"(He's) a presence in the paint," Dumars said. "For big men in the NBA today it's imperative you be athletic. The game is changing, so when you have guys to protect the rim."
"We have two young big men. When two guys play together, the way they complement each other is (one) covers for what the other can't do. Greg isn't a high-flying shot blocker. (Drummond) isn't a skilled see-everything big man."
"We've waited a long time to get specifically this kind of big man," Dumars said.
"I feel like we're very fortunate," Gores said. "It's amazing we've actually been able to do it - Greg Monroe (in 2010), Brandon Knight (last year) and Andre. He has a tremendous amount of potential, and we also have to be very patient. I get excited about doing things great in the long run, bringing the Pistons back where they should be."
"He's young so we have to make sure we nurture his talent and all that stuff so we're very excited," Gores said. "Last year we got Brandon (Knight) and we feel very fortunate to get that and this year we got Andre. (We feel) very lucky."
Frank gave a video interview to ESPN on draft night:
"We have to remember he is the second youngest player in the draft. He's 18 years old. We know he has a long ways to go. We obviously value his athleticism, his shot blocking, his ability to finish around the basket, his ability to rebound the ball and most importantly his character.
It's way too early to know where he fits. Everything has to be based on merit. And we understand it's going to be a process with Andre."