He’s entering his sixth NBA season, center Andre Drummond remains one of the young building blocks for the Detroit Pistons.
And, the NBA, according to the Sporting News.
Drummond, 24, is No. 23 in the Sporting News’ top 25 NBA players under the age of 25, though Jordan Greer writes the big man’s game doesn’t necessarily fit today’s NBA game.
“In a previous NBA life, Drummond would have thrived,” Greer writes. “A big man who can routinely post a double-double with a shooting percentage between 50-55? Love him! But there are questions about his commitment on defense, the lack of improvement in his post game and his atrocious free throw shooting. Still, Drummond is only one season removed from his first All-Star campaign.”
That was in 2015-16, when he averaged 16.2 points and 14.8 rebounds per game. Those numbers dipped slightly last season (13.6 points, 13.8 rebounds), while his free-throw shooting remained horrendous (38.6 percent).
Offseason sinus surgery for a deviated septum and a new attitude have given Drummond a sense of optimism heading into this season. Drummond had just eight points on 3-of-9 shooting, as foul trouble limited him to 22 minutes in Wednesday night’s season-opening 102-90 victory over the Charlotte Hornets. He still grabbed 13 rebounds, had four assists and blocked a pair of shots in the victory. He also knocked down both of his free throws.
Also making the list is Denver Nuggets shooting guard Gary Harris at No. 14. The 23-year-old is entering his fourth NBA season after a standout two-year stint at Michigan State.
“Harris has become a solid all-around player,” Greer writes. “He has meshed quickly with Nikola Jokic and benefited from Jokic’s innate passing ability. At 1.39 points per possession on cuts and 1.21 points per possession on spot-ups, Harris doesn’t need to eat up possessions for a top-five offense. He also routinely guards the opposing team’s strongest guard or wing, a tough task given Denver’s team defense is fairly weak. The Nuggets made a smart move this offseason by locking in Harris for another four years.”
Harris averaged 14.9 points last season, shooting 42 percent from 3-point range.