Is Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond NBA’s Next Big Thing?

Raj Mehta – USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Pistons’ big man Andre Drummond is just plain awful from the charity stripe. Any amount of faith in the 20-year-old’s ability to hit a clutch free-throw is more than unwarranted. He has managed to knock down an extremely poor 37.5 percent of his attempts on the season and obviously needs to find a way to improve. However, the limitations on Drummond’s potential of becoming a truly dominant post presence in the league seem to end there.

Drafted with the No. 9 overall pick of the 2012 Draft, Drummond displayed flashes of his capabilities as a rookie by posting averages of 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks along with shooting a very strong 60.8 percent from the floor. To manage that level of production while seeing a mere 21 minutes per contest is impressive.

Now in his second push through the league, Drummond is making good on the promise he has previously showcased. Starting all 37 games so far for the Pistons in 2013-14, the former University of Connecticut standout has put up 12.7 points, 12.6 boards, 1.7 blocks and 1.4 steals en route to 26 double-doubles. Currently among the NBA‘s top 10 in field-goal percentage, rebounds and blocked shots, Drummond could very well be headed toward his first All-Star selection.

Saturday night, as the Pistons play host to the Phoenix Suns at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Drummond will have an opportunity to further prove himself against another budding young center in second-year pro Miles Plumlee. This matchup should make for an entertaining interior battle as Detroit tries to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff picture while the Suns look to maintain their postseason position in the West.

Nate Miller is an Atlanta Braves writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Miller_RotoRant or add him to your network on Google.

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