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Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 4/11/16

The Pistons clinched their first playoff berth in seven seasons on Friday night, ending the longest postseason drought in the Eastern Conference, but their All-Star rode the bench most of the fourth quarter.

That wasn’t an aberration. Center Andre Drummond, who will be a restricted free agent this summer, sat the last 8:51 while his teammates finished off the Wizards. There was nothing wrong physically with Drummond. Instead, it was Drummond’s glaring weakness that made him a spectator while the game was still in doubt.

Drummond badly missed two free throws after Washington intentionally fouled him. Drummond is on pace to set the record for the worst single-season free throw shooting performance in NBA history, averaging 35.6% on 582 attempts.

That prompted Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy to wave in backup Aron Baynes to replace Drummond, who seemed to pout during the benching. Van Gundy offered words of encouragement afterward and even made a point of visiting Drummond in the locker room following his press conference.

“He’s really frustrated with the whole free-throw thing and coming out of games,” Van Gundy told the gathered media, including Hoops Rumors. “It’s all about winning and he has to understand that.”

Van Gundy has frequently brought in Baynes to finish out games, particularly since the All-Star break, rather than allowing opponents to send Drummond to the line.

It would be unfair to overstate Drummond’s major flaw without pointing out all the good things he brings to the table. He has led the league in rebounding throughout the season. He has the most double-doubles in the league by a wide margin, as well as the most 20-20 games. His post moves have improved steadily, and the Pistons’ offense is predicated on Drummond’s ability to draw defenders on pick-and-rolls with point guard Reggie Jackson.

Pistons owner Tom Gores called Drummond a max player last spring and the expectation remains that Detroit will give him the biggest contract possible this summer.

It’s still unsettling, and unusual, to have a supposed franchise player that the coach can’t trust to finish games.

This leads us to our question of the day: Given his free throw shooting woes, is Andre Drummond worth a max contract?

Please take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject. We look forward to what you have to say.

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10 thoughts on “Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 4/11/16

  1. Nope. Not a chance but the NBA is stupid with contracts. A few years ago they were complaining some teams were not profitable and now everyone is a max player. But if Wesley Matthews off a torn achillies is a max player I guess Drummond is too?

    • Dana Gauruder

      Quality young bigs are hard to find and don’t forget the Mavs centered their offseason on trying to sign DeAndre Jordan, who is nearly as poor at the line as Drummond.

      • Yea but they had Wesley in the fold then just made him a max player for the heck of it.

        • Z.....

          If Wes Matthews was healthy, he would have made somewhere near $16-17 million per anyway

  2. I feel like he is. Considering that the cap is rising next season, I think he deserves it. Dominant rebounder and inside scorer, and a solid inside defender. The reason they got Aron baynes was to do what Drummond can’t. He’s worth max, even if he’s not shaq or Dwight in his prime right now, he has potential to be

    • Dana Gauruder

      I don’t think the Pistons have a choice. They can’t afford to lose the player they have built the franchise around.

  3. Jake Bullis
    Jake B.

    Most definitely, already averaging 16 & 15 at 23 years old, with room to improve. I also imagine that these benching will have his butt in the gym trying to improve so he can be on the floor in clutch time for seasons to come.

    • Jake Bullis
      Jake B.

      And if they don’t I wouldn’t mind seeing Milwaukee toss him whatever he wants!

  4. Drummond’s average Defensive Ratings and Player Efficiency Ratings are through the roof. Center is a relatively thin position in this era and Drummond is still only 22 years old with no major injury history. The way contracts in the league are trending, Drummond is worth the max far more than some other max/close players.

  5. Ken Wimer

    No he is not. You reward him for his rebounding title, and the league leading 20-20 games and his double-double games and big improvement overall. But you can’t reward the man a 20+ million a year contract to a player who can’t complete games and be on the floor in the end of games because he can;t shoot free throws. 18 million is fair, and put escalator clauses in his contract when his FT% goes up to say 60% or 65% which is doable for him. But if he stays this low FT% wise, each game of each subsequent season will be the same. He will have to come out of close games in the 4th quarter because he can’t be trusted to make his FT’s.

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