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Andre Drummond's historic first half

Just how good has the Detroit Pistons big man been? Despite his limited minutes, Drummond is on track to have the best season from a teenager in NBA history.


Unsurprisingly, Andre Drummond was not selected as an Eastern Conference NBA All-Star. And as expected he is still lagging in the Rookie of the Year discussion behind Damian Lillard and Anthony Davis. But just how good has Drummond been?

The answer: Historically great.

But lets back up to the Rookie of the Year issue.

Tom Haberstroh got the ball rolling with an intriguing question at ESPN Insider: Should Andre Drummond be considered for rookie of the year?

The answer, of course, is an emphatic yes. That's no surprise to us, of course. If he was getting more than 20 minutes per game the NBA world at large would agree because his production has been undeniable.

Haberstroh uses PER to quantify Drummond's impact. Turns out he is on pace to break the NBA record for rookie PER. But not everyone loves PER. Haberstroh also leaned on fellow ESPN employee Kevin Pelton (the new John Hollinger at the worldwide leader) to run Drummond's numbers through his SCHOENE system to get a player similarity score. Turns out Drummond's best comp is Dwight Howard.

Again, been there, done that.

Haberstroh's article served as more of a primer to Drummond's style of play and effectiveness to the uninitiated. Despite the numbers being clearly highlighted in the article Haberstroh didn't use the occasion to make any proclamations.

Well, allow me to be so bold. Andre Drummond is having a historic rookie season. In fact, he is having the best rookie season of any teenager in NBA history.

He has only played 838 minutes so far this season (20 MPG) and has still managed to amass 3.7 Win Shares. Only 10 teenagers in NBA history have had 3.7 Win Shares in an entire season. In fact, Drummond is on pace to break the record for most Win Shares by a teenage rookie in NBA history.

And those 10 players put Drummond in some historic company that anyone would be proud to be a part of.

Those 10 teenagers (with All-Star selections in parentheses): Dwight Howard (7), Kobe Bryant (15), Chris Bosh (8), Carmelo Anthony (6), LeBron James (9), Thaddeus Young, Kevin Garnett (15), Andrew Bynum (1), Kyrie Irving (1), Tony Parker (5).

Click image to enlarge.


Collectively, they have 67 All-Star appearances to go with 12 championships, five MVP awards and, tellingly, only two received rookie of the year honors (James and Irving).

Looking at Win Shares again, Drummond is on pace to break Howard's NBA record for Win Shares from a teenager in 1,000 fewer minutes. And half of them will have played 1,500 to 2,000 more minutes than Drummond.

If you said before the season Drummond would have a bigger impact on games than LeBron James did in his first year you would have been laughed at. If you said that he could be better than Dwight Howard others would have said you need to put down the Kool-Aid.

But with 42 games in the books Drummond has bested them all. He isn't having a good season for a raw specimen of his ilk. He isn't having a great season for a big man in limited minutes. He is having a historic season the likes of which we have never seen.

Get on the bandwagon everybody, because it is about to get awfully crowded.