Andre Drummond ready to turn things around, excited about Quincy Miller's potential
Since being picked 9th overall in the 2012 Draft, Andre Drummond hasn't had a winning season in the NBA. The Pistons themselves have been on the wrong side of .500 since 2008, with multiple free agent signings and coaching changes unable to push the struggling team into playoff contention.
Like many fans, Drummond is sick of it, per Vince Ellis at The Detroit Free Press:
"I'm just so tired of losing that it comes down to me and what I'm doing on the floor and that if I'm not in the best condition, the best playing shape, I can't do nothing for my team. I'm willing to take this summer real seriously to really become a better leader and show everybody that I'm here to get the program where it needs to be."
Andre has noticeably slimmed down according to multiple reports, and has kept an eye on fellow teammate Quincy Miller, who Drummond says has put on 16 lbs of muscle since the end of the season. Miller who initially joined the Pistons on a ten-day contract, has expressed a firm desire to stay in Detroit after signing a guaranteed contract late into the season. Miller's remaining contract is partially guaranteed through 2016. The 22-year-old forward has intrigued the Pistons' organization and its fans since claiming the team's final roster spot, and despite logging only 58 minutes of court time this season, he could end up playing a significant role in Motown's offseason plans.
With Detroit's forward positions in limbo with the upcoming draft, Greg Monroe's free agency and the lack of talent at small forward, now would be the perfect time for the former Baylor big man to carve himself a secure spot in the team's future plans. With the team's coaching staff reportedly still gushing over the forward's potential, he could make competition for minutes interesting for Anthony Tolliver, Cartier Martin and any front court additions. Drummond raved about Quincy in a different piece by Ellis.
"He's playing really well," "He's just been in the gym each and every day, taking his workout seriously, eating well. He's not really slacking off. The coaching staff's excited. I talked to all the weight coaches about him today and they say he comes in here with the mind-set he wants to be a part of this team and really wants to work."
Miller will be on the Pistons' Summer League team in Orlando, and from the sounds of it, he'll be looking to build on an already strong offseason performance.
Pistons workout several prospects
Multiple potential draftees came to Detroit for a workout, according to Pistons.com's Keith Langlois, and Sheridan Hoops' Michael Scotto. Mostly wings and forwards, only two were expected to be drafted within the first round - Bobby Portis and Kevon Looney. All prospects, bar three - Nebraska's Terran Petteway, Temple's Will Cummings and St John's Sir'Dominic Pointer - shot the three ball well in college, with Stanford's Anthony Brown claiming the top spot with a scorching 44.1% on almost 5 attempts per game. Brown, ranked 50th overall by Draft Express, seemed to stand out, as Keith Langlois reports:
"The NBA is a 3-point shooting league now," he said. "That's something I wasn't great at in my first two seasons. I was looking at the NBA and said, 'Where can I fit in?' If you want to be in the NBA, you've got to shoot 40-plus at my position, at my size. So that's something I've worked on repeatedly the last few years.
Brown revealed the smarts that made him a Stanford recruit by spotting that trend line and doing something about it. After shooting about 35 percent from the 3-point line in his first two seasons, he focused on boosting that number to catch the eye of NBA front offices.
What about the rest of the players Detroit worked out?
- Kevon Looney, currently expected to be drafted by the Toronto Raptors 20th overall (Draft Express), was one of the only first round prospects to workout for the Pistons along with Bobby Portis (whom you can read more about here). At 6'9" Looney is projected to be an NBA stretch-4 after knocking down 41.5% of his longballs for UCLA last season.
- Fellow workout invitee Julian Washburn identified defense as his NBA calling card. The 6'8" forward also displayed some shooting prowess, knocking down 38.1% from deep during his final year, but struggled with shooting consistently during his four years at UTEP, as his stats show. The 23-year-old is expected to go undrafted.
- Darrun Hilliard didn't participate in the Combine, and is currently ranked 71st overall by Draft Express, however, he could be a training camp or summer league invite waiting to happen, with his stats suggesting some potential as a 3 & D player. Hilliard shot .440/.387/.796 his final year, and averaged 1.7 steals in 29 minutes for Villanova.
- Juwan Howard Jr, son to Miami Heat assistant and former Michigan Fab Five player Juwan Howard also had a workout with the Pistons. The Detroit Titans player could be a training camp invitee according to Terry Foster of The Detroit News, although the Heat have also shown some interest in Howard. Described as a pure scorer, he averaged 17.4 points on .422/.412/.861 shooting for the Titans this year.
- Draft Express' Jonathan Givony who scouted Terran Petteway in 2014 listed his main weakness at the time as being his shooting, something that actually worsened during his last season in Nebraska (.396/ .313/ .711), and could explain why the guard is projected to go undrafted.
- Josh Richardson out of Tennessee could have some point guard potential according to Langlois, but the 6'6" guard seems to have more potential as a 3 & D player, shooting 35.9% from three and averaging 2.0 steals per game during his final season.
- This year, North Carolina State's Ralston Turner averaged 12.8 points and 3.3 rebounds for the Wolfpack whilst shooting .448/.367/.838 in 36 games (31.6 minutes per). The 23 year-old guard didn't participate in this year's NBA Draft Combine.
- Sir'Dominic Pointer is expected to go undrafted this year after averaging 13.9 points and 7.8 rebounds whilst shooting .528/.008/.725 for St Johns last year. At 6'5" in shoes, Pointer's size for his position (SF) and shooting could explain why he isn't expected to hear his name called out on draft night.
- Also projected to go undrafted is Temple's Will Cummings, whose three point stroke suffered year after year in college as his attempts increased -- 0.4 per game in 2012 for 50.0%, 2.9 per game in 2015 for 21.6%. The 22 year-old point guard averaged 14.6 points and 4.3 assists in 33.9 minutes for Temple last season (35 contests).
- D.J. Newbill averaged 20.7 points and 4.7 rebounds for Penn State this year, but the 23 year-old shooting guard is also expected to go undrafted. The fourth-year collegiate player struggled with consistency shooting-wise during his tenure at Penn State, but knocked down 37.0% of his three-point attempts his senior year.
Tweet of the week
"What you spend your time doing throughout the day will determined your personal results for your future"
— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummondd) June 5, 2015