We already know we're watching something special in Andre Drummond's rookie season as a member of the Detroit Pistons. But there are probably a few things that preoccupy our minds. 1. Is his back OK? (The answer seems to be a tentative, "yes." 2. Will he enter the starting lineup/see his minutes increase? 3. Can he have a legitimate shot at being named rookie of the year?
His competitors for the best rookie prize are, of course, Damian Lillard, the explosive point guard that is leading the Portland Trail Blazers back to respectability, and Anthony Davis the No. 1 overall pick who is doing great big-man things for the New Orleans Hornets.
Drummond's production dwarfs them both but his limited playing time has given him deceptively mediocre per-game stats. But every time a national outlet gives Drummond recognition, especially at the expense of his above competitors, it is a good day.
The latest is the biggest of them all as ESPN has called Drummond the best teenager in his draft class. It's not really a surprise considering that we've discussed where he ranks among teenagers ALL TIME but Davis comes in at No. 2 in the rankings so all in all it is a good thing.
David Thorpe ranked the rookies for ESPN and had this to say about Drummond (Insider):
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.
That isn't the only love Drummond has received lately, either.Voters: Write down Andre Drummond for Rookie of the Year IN PEN
Andres Alvarez of the Wages of Wins Journal, the antithesis of ESPN, has a new post up basically imploring voters to name Andre Drummond ROY. The post is called "Voters: Write down Andre Drummond for Rookie of the Year IN PEN" and makes a convincing case for Drummond, and that is putting it mildly.
Here is a small taste of the superlatives:
It's not even close. Even if Drummond doesn't suit up for the rest of the season, it would take an insane performance for any other rookie in the race to even match him. Drummond is THE rookie of the year. And he deserves this award not just because of totals, but also because of the historic nature of his performance.
The whole thing is full of great info, including a shoutout to our own MFBG.