Late in the season, before he was fired as Detroit Pistons coach, Lawrence Frank reminded sportswriters that Andre Drummond was just 19 years old.
In August, Drummond will now be only 20 years old, but no longer an NBA rookie. More will be expected of his second year. Staying healthy would be a good main expectation for Drummond since he’s unavailable for 22 of the Pistons’ contests next year. He’s going to have to go through rigorous conditioning over the summer to make sure he’s able to put up with the demands of the job. He averaged 20.7 minutes last season. His offseason conditioning needs to get him to where he can average in the high 20s or close to 30 minutes per game. He averaged 7.9 points and 7.6 rebounds a game. Both of those numbers need to be in double figures.
The Pistons are going to draft and also make free agent acquisitions based on the assumption that Drummond will be ready to deliver the goods as a 20-year-old next season. Most of what the Pistons do will be under the assumption that the Drummond and Greg Monroe starting combination is going to work.
Drummond is the nucleus of the franchise right now, as far as many Pistons observers are concerned. He can take the franchise back to the playoffs. But he has to prove it. In order to prove it for the 2013-14 season, he has to be ready for a productive summer of conditioning so that he is ready to handle the rigors of an 82-game schedule.