Chauncey Billups, Paul Pierce, and Jalen Rose were talking Pistons on ESPN’s NBA Countdown and had some thoughts on Andre Drummond.
The basic story is that Pierce says he would have taken Andre Drummond ahead of Anthony Davis in the 2012 NBA Draft and Billups and Rose look at him like he’s crazy. And yeah, it’s a pretty crazy claim.
He backpedals saying, “People got it mixed up, I didn’t say he was better than Anthony Davis. I said coming out [in the draft], there was a lot of people on the fence about that. Even though he went ninth, like during the year people were like ‘Of Andre Drummond and Anthony Davis, who is the better big?’”
Jalen Rose calls BS, and of course it was. Anthony Davis was the consensus top pick and put up 17 points per game and 10 rebounds per game. Damian Lillard won Rookie of the Year, but Davis was second. He had 306 points in the ROY voting compared to Drummond’s 36. Davis was clearly the favored prospect.
Drummond responded on Instagram to call out Chauncey for...I’m not really sure. Living in reality, I guess?
Chauncey reminds folks that Drummond is his buddy and that the two actually played together. And the group goes on to talk Drummond up that he’ll have four or five All Star appearances. Well, I hope that was ego soothing.
But back to Pierce’s original point, it wasn’t a bad one. It was just poorly made. There was a time where there was a legitimate Drummond versus Davis debate. It just wasn’t 2012. It was closer to 2013.
Coming out of the draft, Drummond was considered extremely raw. But he raised some eyebrows with an impressive rookie season, showcasing a rare amount of size and athleticism. Meanwhile Davis raised an eyebrow with his frame being potentially injury prone and his defense not being as dominant as it was in college.
In 2013, SB Nation projected their top 100 players for 2017 and they predicted Drummond to be the third best player in the league and Davis to be the seventh best. So there was indeed a time where some folks were, as Pierce put it, on the fence about who was better. He just had his timeline wrong.
By the way, here’s what Jonathan Tjarks wrote defending his pick of Drummond at three:
In 2017, Drummond will be 24 years old and he'll be the biggest and most athletic player in the NBA. This is a 6'11, 275-pound teenager who can take the ball between his legs in mid-air and dunk! That's insanity. As a 19-year-old rookie, he had per-36 minute averages of 14 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks on 60 percent shooting. At worst, he'll be a Defensive Player of the Year candidate who gets 18 and 14 just by hanging out around the rim, a la Dwight Howard in Orlando. It's almost impossible for any perimeter player to have the same type of impact on both sides of the ball. Let's not even talk about what happens if he learns some post moves from Coach Sheed! -TJARKS
Of course, since then Davis has been clearly and vastly superior to Drummond. Davis averaged 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game last year while Drummond posted 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game.
That seems to be the point Pierce was trying to get at. That Drummond has been rather disappointing as a prospect.
Well, some social media beef to kick off the Andre Drummond Redemption Tour. Now your thoughts.