Leading up to the NBA Draft Lottery on May 30th, we will be profiling each of the top-10 players available in the Draft from 10 to 1. We’ll be discussing each player’s game, and how they could theoretically fit or not fit with the Cavaliers. For Tyler Zeller click here, Perry Jones III click here, John Henson click here, Harrison Barnes click here, and for Jared Sullinger click here.
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No. 5 – Andre Drummond, Freshman, Connecticut; 2011-12 stats: 10 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 2.7 bpg, 54% shooting
To me, Andre Drummond is kind of an enigma. He should have dominated college basketball, but for some reason, he didn’t seem to put it all together. He is an imposing presence, standing 6-11 and 275 pounds, and is easily one of the most talented centers in the nation. The talent is clearly there, he just needs it all to come out.
He’s been compared to Dwight Howard and Kwame Brown too. Two former number one picks, who went in distinctly different directions. I see him somewhere in the middle, but closer to Howard then Brown. He has the athleticism that resembles Howard, especially for his size. You don’t see near seven footers who can jump like Drummond can. Unlike when Howard entered right out of high school, Drummond has an NBA ready body. I still remember the pictures of a skinny Dwight Howard flashing that braces-filled smile. Not so with Drummond.
Defensively, Drummond can dominate. He hit seven blocks twice in a game this season, and was one of the top shot blockers in college basketball. He is a great rebounder as well. Drummond would be able to anchor a defense for years, and with the right coach, he could be a Defensive POY in the making. Now come the negatives.
Much like Perry Jones III, Drummond can have mental lapses. As I said earlier, with his size and skill, he should have dominated and at least averaged a double-double. Too many times, his stat line would read something along the lines of four points and five rebounds. Inconsistency was a huge problem for him. Offensively, he has the ability to step out and hit a mid-range jumper. But, much like former Cavs great JJ Hickson, he would fall in love with it. If he isn’t able to hit that shot consistently, teams will just leave him out there.
There is no problem with him hitting that shot, but if I have Drummond on my team, he better be in the paint doing damage. The interesting thing about Drummond is he fits in very nicely with the Cavs. The Cavs have a big need for a young center, and Drummond fits that bill perfectly. Outside of picking in the top three, it really could be open game for Cleveland.
While I prefer to see the Cavaliers go for a wing, I wouldn’t be opposed to Drummond. He would fit well with Tristan Thompson, and give the newly minted ROY Kyire Irving someone to feed in the post. My only concern would be passing on a perimeter scorer for Drummond. While I feel Drummond will possibly be a great player in this league, they could use that 24th pick on a center and not miss that wing we so sorely need.