Cavs Draft Preview: Andre Drummond

In the days leading up to Thursday’s NBA Draft I will be previewing potential picks for the Cavaliers at #4. Earlier today I previewed Dion Waiters. We’re having so much fun with this, why stop there? This time around, it’s UConn center and total enigma Andre Drummond.

Andre Drummond: C, UConn

  • Height: 6’11″/Weight: 279 Lbs./Wingspan: 7′ 6.25″’/Vertical: 33.5
  • 28.4 minutes per game as a freshman
  • 10 ppg/7.6 rpg/2.7 blocks per game
  • 53.8 2pt%/0 3pt%/29.5 ft%
  • Best Case Scenario: Dwight Howard
  • Worst Case Scenario: Kwame Brown
  • Most Likely Scenario: Deandre Jordan

Let me first start off by saying Andre Drummond is highly, HIGHLY unlikely to be selected by the Cavs at #4. He’s too much of a project and too much of an unknown/unproven commodity in this draft. The only reason I’m even profiling him as a possibility is because of his potential and the fact that we have yet to hear a peep out of the Cavs regarding him. You know who else we never heard a peep out of the Cavs about? Tristan Thompson… Just sayin’

Again, I don’t think Chris Grant is going to be willing to risk his career on selecting Andre Drummond at #4, but you never know. All it could take is the right dominoes falling the right way and the next thing you know we’re hearing the following words from David Stern. “With the fourth pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select… Andre Drummond, Center, UConn.”

So what’s the deal with Dummond? Well first off, he’s a true center. He’s absolutely enormous. At just a shade under 7 feet tall he’s a truly imposing figure on the basketball court. He also possess an athletic skill set that rivals Dwight Howard in terms of his agility in relation to his size. Unfortunately, that’s about all he really has going for him.

While he’s physically more imposing than anyone else he ever faced in college, and most NBA players for that matter, Drummond never really dominated. Yes, his offensive game needs a massive amount of work. That’s easy to understand, but the fact that at 7 ft tall Drummond couldn’t average more than 10 points and 7 rebounds per game is a huge red flag for me. This goes hand in hand with many scouts biggest issue when it comes to Drummond. He disapears in big moments and underperformed when UConn needed him most. In fact, they’re unsure about his motivation and even his desire to play basketball.

Yes, you read that right. Scouts aren’t sure Andre Drummond actually wants to be playing basketball.

If that’s the case, will Drummond be willing to do the things he needs to do to get better? Will he be willing to spend the time working on his game on the court and his body in the weight room? Nobody really has an answer for that. If he can find the motivation and put it all together, he could be unbelievable. If not, look out because someone is getting fired.

So, as you can probably guess, given his size and athletic ability, if Drummond puts in the work and develops an offensive skill set beyond just being tall he could be the second coming of Dwight Howard. He has the height and he has the agility. Like Howard he can jump through the roof. It’s an intriguing package and certainly makes you wonder “what if we picked him?” Unfortunately there is a risk/reward aspect of this that needs to be taken into account. Because for all that potential reward…

The risk is that he becomes the second coming of Kwame Brown. In other words, Drummond is lazy, immature, temperamental, and just goes through the motions while achieving a career that is about 12 steps below mediocre. People were saying the same things about Kwame Brown when he was selected #1 overall. He was huge, a freak athlete, raw, but a can’t miss. Well, Brown was an epic miss for Washington. If things go wrong for Drummond, this could be his career path.

Realistically, Drummond could be comparable to Deandre Jordan. Tall, athletic, a fierce dunker, shot blocker and that’s about it. Combine all of that with the horrific free throw shooting and he’s a dead ringer for Jordan. Like Jordan, put him in the right situation with the right point guard that can get him the ball above the rim and you might have something here. If you’re looking to rely on him as a consistent low post threat… good luck.

So will the Cavs take Andre Drummond? No, but… Chris Grant does have a knack for picking projects. Christian Eyenga, Tristan Thompson, JJ Hickson… all projects that Chris Grant had a hand in choosing in the draft. So while I don’t think he’ll be a Cavalier by 8 pm tonight, I wouldn’t completely, 100% rule it out. Be prepared Cavs fans… ba prepared.

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