With the ninth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Detroit Pistons selected Andre Drummond. He is a 6-foot-11 center out of the University of Connecticut who only spent one year in college. Drummond finished his one year at UConn averaging 10 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game in 28.4 minutes. However, he shot only 29.5 percent from the free throw line which is part of the reason he slipped to ninth in the draft.
Drummond made the NBA All-Rookie Second Team last year even though he played in only 60 games due to a stress fracture in his back. He averaged 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game. He shot 60.8 percent from the field and increased his free throw percentage to 37.1, which is still awful.
Without scoring a single point, Drummond can be the best player on the court. His ability to defend in both zone and man to man will always affect a game. He is also a monster on the glass and a freak of an athlete who can have the same impact on a game that Dwight Howard does without demanding the ball.
His biggest weakness right now is that he has no offensive game at all. His biggest contribution on offense right now is getting fast break dunks and easy put backs on offensive rebounds. His poor free throw shooting will lead to him getting hacked every time he has an easy shot and forcing the Pistons to take him off the court at the end of the game.
The good news is that he is surrounded by guys that love to shoot, so the pressure won’t be on him to play outside of his abilities this year. With Josh Smith, Brandon Jennings and Greg Monroe on his team, he will be the fourth or fifth option on offense. He can settle into his role and impact the game like Ben Wallace did when he was with Detroit.
The Pistons should make the playoffs this year as the sixth seed in the East. They probably won’t advance beyond Round 1 since they will be matched up against either the Indiana Pacers, Brooklyn Nets or Chicago Bulls. I expect Drummond to finish top 5 in defensive player of the year and average a double-double. His numbers will mirror that of Tyson Chandler‘s and only improve over the years.