NBA Draft 2012: Ranking the 5 Best Team Fits for Andre Drummond

Oren FriedmanCorrespondent IIJune 21, 2012

NBA Draft 2012: Ranking the 5 Best Team Fits for Andre Drummond

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    UConn center Andre Drummond could provide an instant boost for most of the NBA's lottery teams. 

    Put him around some young guards or a stable front line and Drummond can be electric on the offense end and a monster on the defensive end.

    A vicious shot blocker and relentless rebounder, Drummond has the talent and raw physical skills to go far in this league.

    With the right team, will he be the next Dwight Howard, the next DeAndre Jordan or the next Kwame Brown? Who he is surrounded by might make all the difference.

    Here are the five best fits for Andre Drummond going into next week's NBA Draft.

5. Washington Wizards (No. 3 Pick)

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    Andre Drummond could quickly develop playing alongside young studs John Wall and Jordan Crawford.

    The Wizards are a team looking for an identity, and Drummond could help them create a formidable inside-outside combination. Playing alongside the slashing Wall will leave Drummond on the right side of many passes and lobs.

    The pick-and-roll would also be lethal as Drummond is athletic enough to score in traffic but has the perimeter savvy to put the ball on the floor.

    Defensively, it will be on Drummond to anchor an inexperienced defense. With Nene still in the mix for the Wizards, Drummond could gain some valuable tutelage and learn from the experienced veteran.

    What the Wizards decide to do with newly acquired Emeka Okafor will determine a lot, as Drummond could be jumping into a front court logjam.

    The Wiz have long sought a game changing big man, and Drummond fits the mold for what the Wizards' brass is looking for.

4. Cleveland Cavaliers (No. 4 Pick)

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    The Cavaliers could use a big man like Drummond to play alongside Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson.

    This team is in total rebuilding mode, and coach Byron Scott would give Drummond the right amount of playing time on a team full of young guns.

    One knock against Drummond is his motivation. Over a decade ago, Scott helped out a young Kenyon Martin in New Jersey, and he could be the same type of mentor for Drummond.

    The question is if the Cavs will pull the trigger on Drummond with the No. 4 pick.

    He will more than likely still be available, but could Cleveland benefit more from a quick and athletic forward a la Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Harrison Barnes?

    Big men have a tendency to develop slowly, but surrounded by young talent, Cleveland could be the place for Drummond.

3. New Orleans Hornets (No. 1 & No. 10 Picks)

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    If Drummond falls to No. 10, pairing him with the consensus No. 1 pick Anthony Davis would create the most compelling rookie tandem in the NBA next season.

    Drummond and Davis complement each other nicely. Davis can play either the high post or the low post, and he would give Drummond the freedom to move around in the paint.

    Defensively, the Davis and Drummond tandem would be a force. Both are big-time shot blockers. Drummond finished with 92 blocks last season for UConn, good for sixth in the nation.

    With a 9'2" reach and a 8'6" wingspan, Drummond and his counterpart Davis would be able to contain guards that make a living in the paint like Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook.

    Drummond might be snatched before the Hornets have their second top 10 pick, but if he is available, New Orleans could wield a young big three of its own next season.

2. Sacramento Kings (No. 5 Pick)

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    The Kings present a tantalizing opportunity for Drummond to play alongside the young DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans next season.

    Sacramento has been rebuilding for the last few years and finally has some capable cornerstones. While Evans has not turned into the star that many thought he would become on draft night, he is still a stat sheet stuffer. Despite questions of maturity, Cousins has quietly plowed along, devastating defenses in the post.

    Drummond is in a position where he can instantly impact a team needing some energy.

    He is not a high volume shooter and could defer to Cousins in the post. This would make Drummond highly efficient as he could clean up the glass and use his back to the basket game when necessary.

    The Kings have been mired in losing over the years, but playing Drummond with Evans and Cousins could have them among the premiere up and coming teams in the NBA next season.

Portland Trail Blazers (No. 6 & No. 11 Picks)

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    Rip City has the chance to have twin towers patrolling the paint for the first time since they tried to pair LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden five years ago.

    Aldridge is a beast on offense. He has the quickness to finish around the basket and the awareness to take his man out to the perimeter. 

    Drummond would be the perfect enforcer to slide in and help the Blazers' porous interior defense. Where Aldridge is not a menacing shot blocker, Drummond is a smart weak side defender. With explosive athleticism, the two would be a force in the Western Conference for years to come.

    The Blazers are fortunate to have two lottery picks, and if they spend the first one on Drummond, they could use the No. 11 pick on a quick combo guard to bolster their backcourt.

    Perhaps they could grab Syracuse's Dion Waiters or Duke's Austin Rivers. Whoever it is would comprise a potent one-two punch with Drummond in the middle.