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DBB on 3: Hot Topics, Andre Drummond threes and Jimmy Butler trades

There are two comment threads on DBB that have been humming recently. We talked about the topics of two of them.

Detroit Pistons v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Andre Drummond and the three ball and a possible Jimmy Butler trade are two recent pieces here at DBB that have kept their respective comment threads almost as hard to stop checking back on as it is to stop replaying clips of Kahwi Leonard’s laugh.

So why not get some thoughts directly from our writers here to keep the fires stoked? Pay close attention to number two, quite possibly my favorite DBB on 3 question yet.

1. Drummond says he has the green light to shoot threes. What color light would you give that endeavor?

Justin Lambregtse: I give it a yellow light. I don’t hate it as long as he is making around 33-36 percent of his threes. I know how unlikely that is, which is why I give it the yellow light. Proceed with caution and if he struggles to make his three pointers consistently the plug needs to be pulled.

Ryan Pravato: Puke color (OK, maybe not). Truth is, I’ve never been more excited but scared for a Pistons season.

Ben Gulker: Unless he’s shooting >35 percent, red. He’s the best rebounder in the world. Let’s say he takes 200 threes. That means he’s out of position for offensive rebounds for all of those 200 plays, plus all the plays he’s spotting up but not getting a shot off. How many players who are the best in the world at something actively spurn the thing they’re best-in-world at?

Lazarus Jackson: Green. I continue to think that the consternation around Andre shooting 200 threes is overblown. Joel Embiid shot 30 percent on 214 threes last year and no one batted an eye despite him being unbelievable on the low block. Threes will not be the only shots Andre Drummond shoots, he will not spend the entire game flaring out to the perimeter, and we know that enabling Andre on offense engages him defensively. Give it a chance.

Steve Hinson: Rhino poop colored.

Now it’s impossible to tell anything for certain, to be sure. But we can talk about likelihood. Drummond has been the worst shooter of his generation. This would be his first foray into taking threes in his career. In all likelihood, he’d be among the worst three point shooters in the league. That tends to be around 22 percent. If he were to surpass 30 percent, which would still be .9 points per possession and not useful, it would defy probability. It’d put him ahead of a number of players who have taken the shot in game situations for years and even thrived at times. For instance, last year Norman Powell couldn’t crack the mark, despite looking like a marksman early in his career. Still, while extremely unlikely one could say it’s possible.

But here are a few things that are more likely than Drummond shooting 30 percent from three - things that have more of a track record that one could point with greater evidence in its favor:

1. Stanley Johnson shoots over 40 percent from three. After all, there have been four months in his career where he surpassed the mark.
2. Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson both play 80 games. After all, there’s been a season where they both did so, 2013-14.
3. Zaza Pachulia gets more than 20 double-doubles. He’s just three seasons removed from doing so, after all.
4. The Lions win a playoff game. That’s happened before, right? Maybe? I don’t know, the NFL isn’t my thing.

Anyways, you get the point.

Jacob Kuyvenhoven: I’m good with the green-ish light starting out. Any NBA player that can shoot threes at all should be taking them, and it would do a lot of good for everyone Drummond shares the floor with (especially Griffin) if he can be anything approaching acceptable from deep. Of course, there’s no evidence at all he could be acceptable yet, but with a relatively old-school coach like Casey at the helm I’m skeptical he would just green-light this operation unless he saw some pretty encouraging stuff. I’m willing to give it a go because of how helpful it would be if he indeed can make them.

*Author’s note: In summary we have: yellow, puke, conditional red, green, rhino poop, and green-ish. That combined I’d guess would look something like a truckstop toilet which isn’t pretty but that’s of course a less than scientific data compilation, especially unscientific on my part including the rhino poop in the study. Who lets a rhino into a truck stop bathroom anyway?

2. Which number is greater at the end of the season: Drummond made threes or Griffin games played?

Justin Lambregtse: I’m going to go with Drummond made threes based on what I heard from Dwane Casey. He gave Drummond the green light and said he could shoot up to four threes in a game. He is bound to make some if he is shooting a high volume.

Ryan Pravato: Griffin games played. I’ll say 75.

Ben Gulker: Our own Sean Corp threw the number 200 at Drummond, and Drummond said that’s possible. So, Drummond threes.

Lazarus Jackson: 30 percent of 200 threes taken is 60 ... oh god that’s way closer than I’d like it to be. I will say Griffin games played, but I would fade (I hope that’s the right gambling terminology, Jamie will correct me if it’s not) this particular prop bet.

Steve Hinson: Griffin games played. I think Drummond would struggle to crack 20 percent from three, which means even with 200 attempts would just be 40. Blake has only had one season with fewer than 40 games played.

Jacob Kuyvenhoven: 200 attempts, which Drummond would probably need to win this wager, is still very much on the upper end for an unproven shooter with no track record of three-pointers. Kennard’s playing time was limited last year, but he didn’t even get to 200 attempts from three last season. Griffin games is the better bet, although admittedly one that might look silly in time.

*Author’s note #2: I enjoyed coming up with this question. If you’re into the analytics of both sides it’s kind of like one of those brain teasers where you have to decide whether you’d rather slam your finger in a car door or your bare big toe into the foot of the bed. Good stuff.

3. The Pistons are interested in Jimmy Butler. Would you green light that trade? What would you offer?

Justin Lambregtse: I would 100 percent green light that trade. I would trade anybody except for Luke Kennard, Andre Drummond, and Blake Griffin, which means a deal is probably not happening. I could probably be talked into trading Drummond if Butler agrees to sign on long term.

Ryan Pravato: Not interested in Jimmy Butler. I’d rather have Andre Drummond and Luke Kennard.

Ben Gulker: I like Jimmy Butler a lot, but it’s a risk. He has his own injury history, and his long-term commitment seems like it’d be less than a coin flip’s chance. Even so, I could be talked into trading anyone but Drummond for him pretty easily.

Lazarus Jackson: Sure I would trade for Jimmy Butler. The Wolves can have anyone not named Luke Kennard or Andre Drummond. That still doesn’t get the Pistons in any serious trade talks. Detroit can’t absorb any bad money (they have enough of their OWN bad money), shouldn’t give away any (more) first-round picks, and don’t have many (any?) pieces that help Minnesota be a solid playoff team this season.

So, yeah, I would trade for Jimmy Butler. It’s not happening, but sure, why not. If Thibs wants to trade with us instead of another team to stick it to his owner on the way out the door, have at it.

Steve Hinson: Bright green. The Pistons should have been after Butler and Paul George when they were on the market last year. In an Eastern Conference light on top 15 players, adding one is a huge swing for a team. Whatever it takes to land him, the Pistons should be open to it. Something like Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson, and a pick would be ideal and maybe on the fringe of possible, considering what other teams have to offer. But with this Drummond three point nonsense, it may wind up being for the best if it’s a three team deal that sells on Drummond before he tanks his value with a return to his 50 percent true shooting percentage ways.

Jacob Kuyvenhoven: The problem with trading for Butler is he only has one year left on his deal and isn’t staying in Detroit unless the team does extremely well with him in tow (and maybe not even then). The Pistons would have to keep all their main players to really be a contender even with Butler, and a trade around futures is risky as well because then everything would hinge on Butler staying and the future outlook could somehow get even bleaker. You could see if the Wolves wanted the extra years of security of a one-for-one for Drummond or Griffin? I’ve been surprised before, but I really don’t see a trade that makes sense at all here.

*Author’s note #3: Regardless of the possibility of this trade bla bla bla I’m really glad I’m not Tom Thibodeau right now.


There’s where these six writers stand, definitely one of the more divided sets of answers. Let us know what you think in the comments below!