NBA Draft 2012: Why Andre Drummond Will Define Future for Detroit Pistons

Jay Wierenga@@JayWierengaCorrespondent IJune 28, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Andre Drummond (R) of the Connecticut Huskies greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number nine overall by the Detroit Pistons during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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There has been a labor of love for me.

Since Detroit was ill-equipped to succeed this year, I have been writing about the Pistons first overall draft pick since before the season began.

Back in January, I explored the idea of the Pistons selecting Drummond with their lottery pick.

According to yours truly:

In Drummond, the Pistons would have their perfect fit.

While (Anthony) Davis would allow Monroe to stay at the center position, Drummond would force Monroe to shift to the power forward spot.

Either way, Drummond suits the Pistons just fine. He would allow Monroe to concentrate primarily on offense, and would allow Monroe to avoid the tough match-ups on defense.



Drummond is a physical beast.

He is just a shade under seven feet tall, but is only 18 so he could still grow.

He has a huge NBA frame, weighing just a hair under 280 despite great athleticism, so there should be no Oliver Miller fears. 

He is a good shot-blocker and can score on put-backs.

Physically, he is genuinely imposing on a Dwight Howard level.

He moves very well around the hoop on defense and will rarely get beat off the dribble.

He could be an ideal pick-and-roll defender given his quickness and wingspan, which measures 7'6".



He is not very polished offensively.

He can be passive at times and avoid contact on the boards.

He lacks ideal defensive instincts and spacing on offense.

His footwork needs to improve, and despite his ability to get put-backs, he doesn't have great rebounding instincts.


Why I love this pick

Drummond has what few people have, and that is the physical intangibles to dominate on the NBA level.

He also is raw, and given the fact that he lacked a true coaching experience (Jim Calhoun missed a bulk of Connecticut's season), he can only improve.

Detroit truly needs an athletic big man to pair with Greg Monroe, and it certainly was not going to get one in free agency or via the trading block.

For the Pistons, they needed to get one through the draft, plain and simple.

And while Drummond is not perfect, he is as close to a genuine big man as Detroit could hope to get.


Why this pick defines Detroit's future

The Pistons stand on the precipice of something big right now.

They have an up-and-coming big man in Greg Monroe, an explosive 2-guard in Rodney Stuckey and what the team hopes is a dynamic point guard in Brandon Knight.

The Pistons also recently dealt their worst contract, Ben Gordon's, for an expiring Corey Maggette contract.

This leads most prognosticators to believe that Charlie Villanueva will be cut via the Amnesty Clause, giving Detroit some leeway to make a free-agent move or two.

That being said, the Pistons probably will begin to become a middle-of-the-road team from here on out, and this will likely be their best pick in the foreseeable future.

They also have a small window of time where their young core will be underpaid, giving them the opportunity to become an upstart.

Pistons team president Joe Dumars has had very bad luck in the lottery. He has chosen Rodney White and Darko Milicic amongst others, and is eager to turn things around.

His two most recent first-round picks were winners.

If this one turns out well, Detroit could become very good, very quickly.

If it doesn't, this team could flounder for years.