The livelihoods of many in the basketball world are reliant on one particular event in the NBA offseason. The draft is a time where team scouts, general managers, coaches and other team personnel tremendously boost their job security, or where they lose it altogether. That is why no one wants to make a decision on a boom or bust player. These players have the potential to be superstars in the league, but they also lack some sort of ingredient required to allow them to reach their potential, that is why they are such high risk picks.
NBA general managers, when drafting these players, are hoping for a development of that missing ingredient, but such a development is not a guarantee, which translates to a ‘bust’. Recent examples include 7’5 centre Hasheem Thabeet, often injured Greg Oden, Hawks swingman Marvin Williams and the list simply piles on. In this year’s NBA draft, Andre Drummond is the epitome of a high-risk player, and here we look at why he is this year’s scariest pick to make.
As recently as two weeks ago, Drummond was projected to go somewhere within the top five, with some even slotting him at number two. The recent draft combine however, has dropped his stock significantly after he finished with a poor showing. It would be not surprising if Drummond fell out of the top five as this year’s strong draft class may lead GMs to pass on Drummond and take a more established player such as Bradley Bealor or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. For Cleveland, Washington and Charlotte, not picking Drummond will be relatively easier to swallow.
For teams picking after the top five however, Andre Drummond will be the scariest player to make a decision on. For example, let’s take in the Toronto Raptors and GM Brian Colangelo‘s situation. Slotted to pick at number eight, Colangelo will be looking at players like Jeremy Lamb and Damian Lillard. They will probably be hoping for a Harrison Barnes to fall down to them and praying for Bradley Beal to do the same. What they will not want to happen however, is for Andre Drummond to be available at number eight.
Teams are supposed to take the best player available. The last time the Raptors didn’t do so was when they selected Rafael Araujo out of Brazil. Araujo barely lasted five years in the NBA. To make things worse, Andre Iguodala was the next player taken. In this case however, would Colangelo take Drummond? Should Colangelo take Drummond?
Andre Drummond has potential that is comparable to and even greater than Anthony Davis, the consensus number one pick. It is also known however, that Drummond will not be a strong contributor for at least two seasons and he will alone command an ample amount of resources to develop. Taking into account the Toronto personnel, they currently have Andrea Bargnani, Ed Davis, Amir Johnson and rookie Jonas Valanciunas making his debut from Europe.
Another big man would almost certainly force the Raptors to give up on one of the four. Davis and Johnson will not command much in a trade, and Valunciunas is extremely high on the minds of Raptors supporters. This would force the Raptors to send Bargnani away in a trade. Would that be a smart move though? He is without a doubt their best player and any hopes of possibly making the post season in 2013 rest on him.
To make it worse, the Raptor’s greatest need is not in the post, but on the wing. DeMar DeRozan cannot do it alone and the Raptors have not had a truly stud wingman since Vince Carter. Jeremy Lamb would be a great pick for them, and he would provide the shooting touch that DeRozan lacks.
So why would the Raptors even bother considering Andre Drummond?
The fact is, Drummond’s potential could outweigh every single negative put forth. He has the potential to be the top center in the league, and that cannot be ignored. The scariest pick in the 2012 draft is Andre Drummond because if you pass on him, you face the possibility of missing a stud. Just like how no NBA executive would brag about passing on Kobe Bryant or Rajon Rondo, no one wants to make the mistake of not taking a superstar.
Anthony Davis may be the unanimous #1 pick, but every other GM will be sweating the possibility of Drummond falling to them.
Would you take Andre Drummond? Let me know in the comments.