Andre Drummond was viewed as a franchise centerpiece and one of the top centers in the NBA for the last couple seasons, as he earned his first all-star berth and led the upstart 2015-’16 Pistons to their first playoff appearance since 2009. He, along with point guard Reggie Jackson were expected to make another big leap in production to lead this Detroit team deeper into the postseason in 2016-’17. However, due to Jackson’s knee tendinitis that kept him out for the first 21 games of the season and still hindering his play when he returned, Drummond’s production plummeted. This has easily been Drummond’s most disappointing campaign, as he went from rising superstar coming off his first all-star appearance to an all-around liability, shown by the fact that the team actually played better when he was off the court.
Drummond’s stats weren’t supposed to drop this season, as he was expected to improve from his very encouraging 2016 campaign. However, his scoring numbers were the worst since his sophomore season, along with his rebounding numbers being underwhelming for a commodity such as Drummond. The virtual reality he used to try and fix his abysmal free throw shooting went for naught, as he increased his all-time worst 35.5 percent to 38.6 percent. Even though Dre’s overall FG% rose slightly and his FGA per game dropped, Drummond looked extremely inefficient on the court, as ill-advised post hooks that he threw up far too often were only offset due to the amount of dunks and layups he had.
While Drummond showed lackluster effort often throughout the season, he did have a couple dominant showings during the year:
Overall this was a very disappointing season for a player once viewed as one of the brightest young centers in the league. This drop is production can’t all be put on Drummond’s hairy shoulders, as the aforementioned injury to starting point guard Reggie Jackson hampered Drummond’s play, as the Pistons heavily relied on Jackson-Drummond pick-and-rolls as the main source of offense last season. With all this said, we can’t give up on Drummond, who just signed a 5 year/$120 million deal with Detroit prior to last season, just yet. Before giving a thought to trading the big man, we must see what he, along with the rest of this young core, can do before throwing them on the chopping block.
Drummond will need a bounce back season in 2017-’18 to again assert himself as not only one of the best centers in the NBA but also has a franchise centerpiece the city of Detroit can count on to bring in fans and wins for years to come.
Featured Image – (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton)