Has the NBA Handed Andre Drummond By?
Andre Drummond is out there. Repeat. Andre Drummond, the two-time All-Star, four-time rebounding champ, strolling double-double and ball-swatter, is out there. Not simply out there. Out there for affordable.
Low cost within the sense that you simply wouldn’t have to surrender an entire lot of property exterior of matching salaries to get him. You in all probability received’t do a lot better for such a low worth. Who wouldn’t need somebody who averages 17 factors, 13 rebounds, nearly three assists, and at the least one block and one steal a recreation for pennies on the greenback?
The one purpose why the Cleveland Cavaliers are eliminating him is that they acquired the youthful, simpler large in Jarrett Allen who suits their timeline like a glove. The Land wasn’t sufficiently big for each Allen and Drummond from the beginning, so the latter’s exodus appeared unavoidable.
However what is going to grasp over each his and Cleveland’s heads is that once they acquired him for spare elements final 12 months, which signified what his worth really was to NBA groups. Now, asking for spare elements in return for Andre Drummond is perhaps too optimistic when this case is finished and over with.
There aren’t an entire lot of groups which have $28.75 million in deadweight contracts or commerce exceptions for that matter – the one which the Boston Celtics possess from the Gordon Hayward commerce is $250,000 (give or take) decrease than Drummond’s present wage, and even when they might match, they’d need to eliminate $5+ million to suit him into their workforce wage. Those that do aren’t in dire want of somebody like Andre Drummond or would in all probability relatively save what they’ve for somebody higher.
However any NBA viewer who’s watched Andre Drummond is aware of the actual problem with buying him. His numbers can wow you as a lot as his successful share can put you off. However that crimson flag has been the monkey on Drummond’s again for fairly a while now.
“He can get you 30-20 and don’t have any affect on the sport.”
-NBA Scout on Andre Drummond
(by way of @SmithRaps) pic.twitter.com/aJClQam9Im
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) February 15, 2021
OK, so Andre Drummond isn’t going to be ‘the man’ on a championship workforce, and even be included in a vaunted ‘Large 3’ that the NBA has so closely popularized. That ship has sailed. The query that is still is that if he could be an efficient participant on a successful workforce within the NBA. The actual fact stays that Drummond has minimal playoff expertise – eight video games complete – and 0 playoff success to his identify. However is that on him?
Let’s return to probably the most workforce success Drummond has ever had as a professional. The very best workforce Drummond ever performed for record-wise was the 2015-16 Pistons. They went 44-38, snagged the final playoff spot within the Jap Convention and had been promptly swept by the LeBron-led Cavaliers. Drummond was not all that nice in that collection, placing up round 17 factors, 9 rebounds, and practically two blocks per recreation to go together with nearly 52 p.c taking pictures, in line with Basketball-Reference.
However for a participant whose harshest criticism facilities round his stats being empty energy, the Pistons had been demonstrably higher when Drummond was on the ground. In line with NBA.com, Detroit’s offense scored 8.Eight extra factors per 100 possessions and surrendered 11 fewer factors per 100 possessions when he was on the ground. The Cavaliers could have taken care of enterprise towards Drummond and co., however he was doing his half.
It’s price mentioning that the Pistons gave the Cavaliers a greater battle than your typically-swept eighth seed. The purpose differential between the 2 over the 4 video games was 5, 17, 10 and a pair of. Not unhealthy for a workforce going up towards the soon-to-be-crowned champions within the first spherical.
However that was the furthest Drummond ever went, all again when he was thought-about the face of the Pistons. The very best gamers surrounding him at the moment had been Tobias Harris, Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. All of whom had been both beforehand or are at the moment dependable supporting forged on good groups, however none of them would ever be thought-about the principle ingredient on a championship workforce.
5 years later, we’ve recognized for a while now that Drummond isn’t that man both. Nonetheless, what we don’t know is what he would seem like if his function was relegated to extra of a complementary sort. When this saga with Cleveland concludes, that’s in all probability the place he’s headed.
If there’s one factor suitors needs to be enthusiastic about with the prospect of bringing in Drummond in a smaller function, it’s that we’ve seen gamers in comparable conditions as Drummond thrive in it. Take Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins got here into this league with expectations that, at this level, he’s by no means going to meet. One might argue that the outcomes make him seem like a disappointment whereas one other might counter that time by saying that possibly our expectations had been a bit of too excessive. In any case, that doesn’t matter now as a result of, in Golden State, he’s had a recent begin, and he’s rolled with it.
In his first full season with the Warriors, we’re not seeing Andrew Wiggins as an All-Star. We’re seeing Andrew Wiggins, the environment friendly and dependable two-way wing.
Simply have a look at the taking pictures numbers. An efficient area objective share of 53.6 p.c? A real taking pictures share of 55.7 p.c? A 3-point taking pictures share of just about 37 p.c? All career-highs for Wiggins in line with Basketball-Reference. The 17.7 factors per recreation are undoubtedly decrease than what we’ve seen up to now from Wiggins, however Golden State by no means requested for him to be their go-to man for that.
With extra power at his behest, we’ve additionally seen Wiggins step it up on the defensive facet of the ball that… he would possibly truly be making a case for NBA All-Protection?!
High defenders this season by defended area objective share with a minimal of 200 DFGA:
1. Mike Conley – 38.1% (86/226)2. Andrew Wiggins – 38.5% (141/366) 3. Jakob Poeltl – 39.3% (137/349)4. Kevin Durant – 39.3% (90/229)5. Jamal Murray – 39.8% (86/216) pic.twitter.com/z4aw6BFm7T
— r/Warriors (@GSWReddit) February 16, 2021
Some guys simply want to search out the fitting function for them. Andrew Wiggins has seemingly discovered who he really is in Golden State. We shouldn’t care anymore if meaning he’s by no means going to be a star. On the flip facet, some guys are simply meant to be in a starring function. Gordon Hayward flustered Celtics followers together with his inconsistency and indecisiveness as a result of being fourth within the pecking order was not what he was used to nor he was introduced on to do within the first place. Now we’re seeing a renaissance from Hayward as a result of Charlotte has tasked him with rather more duty.
We’ve seen Drummond in a starring function, and from what we’ve seen, though he can put up bedazzling numbers, his workforce doesn’t profit a lot from what he does on the courtroom. However possibly, simply possibly, it is perhaps as a result of they anticipated an excessive amount of from him a lot as all of us did with Wiggins.
Now, in fact, we have to confront the elephant within the room: Wiggins is a wing whereas Drummond is a giant. These are two very completely different positions, particularly within the fashionable NBA. There’s no telling if we’re going to see Drummond make the identical adjustment. We’ve seen facilities – particularly ones that possess comparable skillsets as Drummond – need to adapt to lesser roles, and it hasn’t been fairly.
Hassan Whiteside was one among Miami’s go-to guys earlier than Portland acquired him to be Jusuf Nurkic’s momentary substitute. Now, he’s taking part in spot minutes as Sacramento’s third heart on their depth chart. DeAndre Jordan was an important cog in Lob Metropolis earlier than he went to Dallas and was used as wage filler to amass Kristaps Porzingis. Now he’s the beginning heart for one of many worst defenses within the NBA.
When that point arrives, we’ll see if Drummond actually is an empty calorie large as his critics have identified, or if he’s a product of mediocrity simply dying to show he can contribute to a superb workforce.
Glass half-empty would say it’s the previous. Glass half-full would say it’s the latter. However for now, solely time can inform.