The Pistons have made Andre Drummond the 9th overall pick of the NBA Draft.
Much like the Gordon-Maggette swap, Pistons fans are polarized. Many - if not most - are intrigued by his rare combination of strength, height, athleticism, and youth and envision him as the perfect pairing for Greg Monroe.
Others are more skeptical, not because they (okay, we) doubt any of those things. Drummond is undeniably a physical specimen, and you can't coach up the things he's naturally gifted with. We are skeptical because he hasn't yet shown that he is able to turn that wealth of talent into production on the basketball court.
As I tend to do whenever the Pistons make a personnel move, I weighed the decision against the numbers.
Like the Pistons' Andre Drummond, let's jump.
Thanks to James Brocato, I have access to a really cool data set – complete box score and win score statistics for the Draft Express Top 100. Quickly and easily, I can compare Andre Drummond to his closest peers.
Let's start with his main strength, blocks. Among the DX100, only three players averaged more blocks: Anthony Davis, Fab Melo, and John Henson. What's more, Drummond doesn't get himself in foul trouble when blocking all those shots; he averaged only 3.1 fouls per 40 minutes. Drummond excelled at blocking shots, and it didn't take him off the court.
He's also been good on the offensive glass - only Zeller and Plumlee were better.
Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends from a statistical perspective.
In terms of scoring, Andre Drummond ranks 78th in Points per 40 (and a meager 33rd out of 35 among Power Forwards and Centers).
In terms of total rebounding, Drummond ranks 42nd overall and right in the middle of the pack at 18 among PFs and Cs.
In terms of defensive rebounding, Drummond is 41st overall and among his peers at PF and C, he ranks 30th.
In terms of shooting percentage, we can look at it two ways, eFG% and TS%. In terms of eFG%, Drummond ranks 39th overall. In terms of TS%, Drummond ranks 76th (thanks in large part to a dismal FT%, which will keep him off the floor in crunch time if it doesn't get much, much, much better).
Admittedly, college performance is not a completely accurate predictor of professional performance - especially for players as young as Drummond. As Pistons fans, we all know this because have witnessed this with our beloved Greg Monroe, whose NBA performance is dwarfing what he did at Georgetown.
But unlike Monroe, Drummond didn't put up numbers that were anywhere close to good in college (refresher: Monroe's NCAA Win Score averages were right around average, which projected slightly below average pro).
Quite the opposite in fact. Drummond's numbers were downright terrible, indicating that it is very unlikely that he will contribute anything to winning anytime soon.
Here's hoping lightning strikes, and Andre Drummond makes a liar out of the numbers, and proving the optimists among our DBB brothers and sisters correct.