Does DeMarcus Cousins Making the Olympic Team Mean Andre Drummond Won’t?
Cousins is one of the NBA’s premier bigmen. Last season he averaged26.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game.
With Cousins making the final roster, where does that leave Pistons’ bigman, Andre Drummond? Would the US team carry two centers?
In recent history, the US Olympic tam has carried three bigmen, power forwards and centers combined. In 2008 Carlos Boozer, Dwight Howard, and Chris Bosh were all on the team. Boozer and Bosh were mainly power forwards, but had the size to play center if necessary. In 2012, the US team was bolstered with Tyson Chandler, Kevin Love, and rookie Anthony Davis at the power forward/center position. While Davis is a power forward now in his career, he came into the league thought to be a center. The last Olympic team to carry a large amount of size was the 2004 team. They had Carlos Boozer, Emeka Okafor, Amar’e Stoudemire, Tim Duncan, and Lamar Odom.While they carried five bigmen, four of the five were able to play power forward, and Odom could sneak down to small forward if necessary.
As the league continues to play smaller, Drummond is going to have to really prove to Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski that he can play with the pace that the US team will want to play at. Drummond does not have the ability to play power forward, but DeMarcus Cousins could. Cousins has played on the court with Willy Cauley Stein and Kostas Koufos. Golden State Warriors PF/C Draymond Green would also like to play on the Olympic Team, and can play the four and the five.
The US Team can also go small, as they have before. With a surplus of talented small forwards battling out for a spot on the team, Krzyzewski will likely take a small forward that will play power forward. Kawhi Leonard, Carmelo Anthony, Paul George, Kevin Durant, and LeBron James are all competing for a spot on the team. Any of them could play power forward as well.
There are some factors going Drummond’s way while Krzyzewski selects his team.
Andre Drummond was an absolute monster last season for Detroit. He 16.2 points, 14.8 rebounds 1.5 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game in his fourth NBA season. He was selected to his first All-Star Team last season. Drummond is one of the most fast and athletic centers in the league as well. He has also played in the FIBA World Cup in 2014.
There is also reason to have Drummond on the team for when the US goes up against teams that have size. Lithuania with Jonas Valanciunas, Donatas Motiejunas, and potentially soon to be NBA player Domantas Sabonis. Spain will have Pau Gasol and hopefully Marc Gasol as they look to win an Olympic medal this summer, as well as Serge Ibaka, Nikola Mirotic, Willy Herangomez and Victor Claver. Brazil will also have good size, with Anderson Varejo, Tiago Splitter, and Nene likely on their roster. Team US will need size to compete with those countries.
Drummond is a good player, and the US Team should have them on their roster, as he will most certainly help them as they look to win a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics.
Featured image via: USA Today Sports