Andre Drummond will turn 20 years old next Saturday and the Detroit Pistons center still remains the player the franchise said can be its most dominating player for years to come.
The Pistons have contended ever since they drafted Drummond that he remains the only untouchable player on the roster. Anyone else, including Greg Monroe, could be traded if the price was right.
Former coach Lawrence Frank continually reminded reporters last season that Drummond was only 19 and expectations should be tempered somewhat. That concept can be thrown out the window, now that Drummond will not longer be a teenager. Much is being expected of Drummond and, while he remains young, he must deliver.
He needs to come through the same way the team expects Chauncey Billups, Jennings, Monroe and Josh Smith, to name a few, to deliver. The Pistons will remain patient with Drummond, but only to a degree.
It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Drummond to stay healthy for most of the 82-game regular season. It will then be expected that all of his averages, including 20.7 minutes, 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game should go up along with hopefully, his 37.1 percent free-throw shooting percentage.
The addition of new players like Billups, Jennings and Smith will obviously make the Pistons much better. But how much Drummond improves might well dictate how much better the Pistons will be.