The chances of Andre Drummond landing a max contract offer are about as good as the chances of him splitting or missing a pair of free throws. Pretty damn good. I don't say that to poke fun at Drummond; I say that in the face of anybody who honestly doesn't think he deserves a post-rookie max simply because of some curable free throw woes.*
Andre Drummond deserves a max contract offer. Andre Drummond is going to get a max contract offer. Owner Tom Gores thinks it's a no brainer [via ESPN]:
"No hesitation," Gores said in the Pistons locker room after the game. "Come on, look at all the big guys in the league. Come on."
More from MLIVE:
"We'll talk about it this summer but we want Andre," Gores said. "So to me, I don't think there's a lot of question about it. Honestly it's how we feel about it." [...]
"I think he's had a great year, an All-Star, more double-doubles (than anyone else in the NBA), and when you look at the other centers in the league -- everybody's got something (a weakness) but I'm proud of the 22-year-old man," Gores said.
The salary cap is about to explode. Drummond, 22, is the most explosive big man in the NBA and coming off a season in which he led the league in rebounds per game and total rebound percentage for the second time in his young four-year career, pulling down 14.8 per game and a quarter of available rebounds anytime he was in the game. Drummond also showed progress on his defense and his post game, even if both are still works in progress. Even with clear areas for improvement, Drummond was the 10th best player in the NBA, if you adhere to Wins Produced measures.
So how on Earth could this '22-year-old man' not be worth a max contract offer?
*Well, his woeful free throw shooting, of course, according to some people. Worse than ever in his career, Drummond's miserable 36 percent from the stripe this year caused Stan Van Gundy to sit him late in games, including three of the four playoff games. When your best player has to sit late in close games for fear of wasted possessions consisting of him bricking or airmailing points away, well, I guess you could argue that he's not your best player and thus, not worth the max... if you want to forget the 33 other extremely productive minutes he was playing to make those games close(r) in the first place.
You'd also be forgetting that Adam Silver says changes need to be made to the Hack-a-Player rules -- so if the NBA betters its rules, it will help keep Drummond on the floor more without fear of being hacked as much -- and there is some history to suggest he can still get a lot better at shooting free throws.
He was a max player last summer, but Drummond agreed to hold off on an extension in order to give the Pistons more cap room this offseason. A year later, he's even better and the decision is even easier for Tom Gores and the Pistons.