After splitting last season between Cleveland and Los Angeles, Drummond enters 2021-22 with his career at a crossroads. A four-time rebounding champ who leads all active players in career rebounds per game (13.7 RPG), Drummond will likely find himself in a full-time reserve role for the first time since his rookie year in 2012-13. The 28-year-old averaged a double-double for both the Cavs and Lakers last season, but his defensive shortcomings and lack of floor-stretching made him a difficult player to integrate. In Philadelphia, Drummond will essentially slide into the spot vacated by Dwight Howard, which projects to allot him 15-to-20 minutes per night behind Joel Embiid. While Drummond will have to swallow his pride and accept the lesser role, his ability to rack up rebounds, blocks and steals at an extremely high rate should keep him relevant in most fantasy leagues. However, managers must be willing to cope with Drummond's poor free-throw shooting (54.8% over last five seasons).
Drummond spent the 2019-20 season with Detroit and Cleveland, getting dealt to the latter around the trade deadline. He continued his streak of great rebounding, leading the NBA in boards per game (15.2) for the third straight season while also averaging 17.7 points, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.6 blocks. He saw a slight role reduction once traded to Cleveland, essentially splitting time with Tristan Thompson. However, Thompson has left for Boston, leaving Drummond the center role essentially to himself in Cleveland. As a result, Drummond should continue putting up the constant 15-and-15s that we're used to seeing from him. Over the past three seasons, he hasn't slipped below rank 21 on a per-game basis, due in part to increased shot-blocking and free-throw percentage numbers.
A one-time All-NBA selection, Drummond is coming off a quality season, setting career highs in points (17.3) and steals (1.7) while leading the NBA in total rebounds (1,232) for a fourth-straight year. Many of those rebounds are on the offensive glass, which has led to putbacks, fueling a career 54.3 percent mark from the field. In 2018-19, Drummond collected two 30-point games, 18 games with at least 20 rebounds, seven performances with five-plus blocks, and three performances with five-plus steals. He was especially dominant following the All-Star break, racking up 16.8 boards per contest in his final 26 appearances. While Drummond falls below the elite tier of centers due to poor free-throw shooting and a narrow offensive skillset, he's undoubtedly one of the most dominant one-category fantasy players in the league. The Pistons didn't make any major moves this offseason, so Drummond should maintain his role heading into the 2019-20 season.
After a brutal 2016-17 campaign, Drummond's resurgence this past season was a huge boost for Fantasy owners that took a risk on him. The 24-year-old upped his averages across the board with 15.0 points, 16.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.6 blocks over 33.7 minutes. That placed him as the No. 1 overall rebounder in the league by nearly one board per game (DeAndre Jordan, 15.2 RPG), as well as the sixth overall finisher in blocks per game. It also earned Drummond his second career All-Star bid, with his only previous selection coming in 2016. While all of that was key in an impressive bounce-back year, it was Drummond's improvement as a free-throw shooter that may have been the biggest surprise. After shooting less than 42 percent from the charity stripe in each of his first five seasons, Drummond catapulted up to 60.5 percent in 2017-18. That's still not great overall, but if the improvements continue, Fantasy owners in some roto leagues may not have to punt on the free-throw percentage category entirely by keeping Drummond in lineups. The Pistons added another superstar in Blake Griffin at the trade deadline, but Griffin's presence only had minor impacts. Most notably, Drummond's assists fell from 3.6 per game prior to the trade deadline to just 1.7 following Griffin's addition. With that said, there should be high expectations for Drummond going into the upcoming campaign. He's going to be one of the best rebounders and rim protectors in the league, and he can put up a 20-20 double-double on any given night. Fantasy owners will always need to be wary of his free-throw shooting percentages, but his all-around production elsewhere should cement Drummond as a top-5 center and an option to consider in the first few rounds of drafts.
After finishing the final year of his rookie deal, the Pistons committed to Drummond long term, rewarding him with a five-year, $127 million contract prior to the 2016-17 campaign. Drummond didn't live up to expectations, however, prompting trade rumors to surround the 6-foot-11 big man both during and after the season. His 16.2 points and 14.8 rebounds per game from 2015-16 fell to 13.6 and 13.8, respectively, while keeping similar averages elsewhere with 1.1 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 blocks across 29.7 minutes. That kept him as one of the top rebounders in the league (3rd overall), but he didn't show much progress on the offensive end. Despite the rumors, Drummond is back with the Pistons for a sixth straight season and is locked in as the team's starting center. He's still going to be a frustrating option in rotisserie leagues, as he shot just 38.6 percent from the free-throw line this past season. His 53 percent field goal percentage didn't rival other elite centers like DeAndre Jordan (71.3), Rudy Gobert (65.9) and Dwight Howard (62.6) either, and he's definitely not going to be a three-point threat considering he's hit a total of five in his entire career. Still, Drummond's going to get starter's minutes, he's fully expected to be a top rebounder and after a down year, his offensive production should only get better. That should provide some optimism for a bounce-back campaign for the 23-year-old center, making him a great option in points leagues. That said, those in roto formats will always have to beware of his horrid free-throw shooting.
Drummond has been among the most polarizing players in fantasy basketball over the past few years, and he took that reputation to another level last season. The fourth-year center got off to a torrid start, averaging a mind-boggling 18.3 points and 16.1 rebounds per game over the first two months of the season, virtually locking up his first career All-Star bid. While those numbers would wane a bit as the season progressed, Drummond still averaged a career-best 16.2 points per game while leading the league in rebounding (14.8 per game) for the first time. Now for the bad news: of the more than 300 players who attempted at least 15 free throws last season, Drummond ranked dead last in free-throw percentage, sinking to a career-low 35.5 percent on more than seven attempts per game. While the rebounding numbers were obviously elite -- Drummond also added 1.4 blocks and a career-high 1.5 steals per game -- such a dreadful free-throw percentage on a relatively high volume of attempts yet again rendered Drummond a frustrating commodity in rotisserie leagues. His 52.1 percent mark from the field, on the low end for centers, was another difficult pill to swallow. As he enters his age-23 season, there's little reason to believe Drummond's counting stats will drop off, and he remains an elite player in points leagues. In roto formats, however, Drummond comes at an inherent discount, barring what would be an unexpected and fairly unprecedented improvement at the charity stripe.
Drummond is entering his fourth season in the NBA after averaging 13.8 points, 13.5 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.9 blocks in 31 minutes per game through 82 games last season. While he made jumps in his per-minute numbers last season, Drummond played nearly two less minutes per game (2013-14: 32.3 minutes, 2014-15: 30.5 minutes) in his first season under coach Stan Van Gundy. Some people will take that dip in minutes as a sign of Van Gundy limiting the big man's minutes, but Drummond's shorter mintues were probably more related to the fact that Van Gundy tried desperately to keep Drummond and Greg Monroe on the court separately. Now, with Monroe signed to a three-year deal with the Bucks, Drummond should have a wide birth of mintues available in the Pistons frontcourt. Through 11 games playing without Monroe last season, Drummond averaged 16.9 points, 14.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.1 steals, and 2.4 blocks in 34 minutes per game while shooting 54 percent from the field and 46 percent from the line. Those numbers were good for an eight-category ranking of 43rd last season. In fantasy, it's important to note that players like Drummond, who shoot a lot of free throws at a terrible clip, are essentially poison pills in rotisserie leagues due to how negatively they impact the free-throw percentage category. However, in head-to-head leagues where the percentages only account for a one-week sample size, the resetting of stats from week to week makes players like Drummond much more valuable. In the course of a week, Drummond will almost assuredly get his average number of counting stats (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and three-pointers) as long as he gets his normal minutes, but there's no telling what percentage a player will shoot from week to week. In other words: draft Drummond with abandon in h-2-h leagues, but avoid him like the plague in rotisserie leagues that use free-throw percentage as a stat.
Drummond is entering his third season in the NBA. In his sophomore campaign, Drummond averaged 13.5 points, 13.2 rebounds, 0.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.6 blocks in 32 minutes per game while playing 81 out of 82 contests. He shot 62 percent from the field on 9.5 attempts per game and 42 percent from the free-throw line on 4.0 attempts per game. Drummond improved his production in every category except blocks last season, and his player efficiency rating (PER) of 22.65 was the 13th best in the NBA. He also lead the league in total offensive rebounds (440), which was 109 more offensive rebounds than DeAndre Jordan, who was second in the league in total offensive rebounds and played one more game than Drummond. His most common comparison for a career trajectory in the NBA has been Dwight Howard, so the addition of Howard's former head coach Stan Van Gundy as the Pistons' coach and president could lead to Drummond taking more leaps in his development this season. Drummond's poor free-throw shooting makes him a liability in rotisserie leagues, but his relatively low number of attempts from the free-throw line limits the damage he can do in that category. On the flip side, Drummond's dominance in counting stats (points, rebounds, steals, blocks) make him one of best centers in head-to-head leagues, and his field-goal percentage (62 percent) was the second best in the league behind Jordan, which plays well in any format.
When healthy, Drummond was one of the more impressive rookies of the 2012 Draft Class. He averaged 7.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.0 steal while playing primarily as a reserve and seeing just 21 minutes per game. While those numbers aren't altogether eye-popping, Drummond's strong finish as a part of the starting five down the stretch, and his stellar per-36 averages (13.8 points, 13.2 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 1.7 steals) hint at his vast potential. Despite the promise Drummond has flashed, his immediate fantasy impact could be quelled some by his struggles at the charity stripe. Drummond shot a horrendous 37 percent from the line in his rookie campaign, and freebies were an issue during his lone season at UCONN, too. But even with the free-throw risk factored in, Drummond remains one of the more likely breakout candidates this season. The 20-year-old has a raw but developing offensive game, superior athleticism for a player his size and game-changing ability on the defensive end of the court. Plus, he's expected to be cemented into the Pistons' starting center job for the entire season. Don't be afraid to reach a round or two early for Drummond – plenty of other owners will likely be planning the same.
Once believed to be a potential No. 1 over pick, Drummond’s stock dropped after a up-and-down freshman campaign at UConn. As a result, he dropped to the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft where Detroit happily selected him. At 7-0, 279, Drummond has the body of a true NBA center. He’s also an absolute beast on the defensive end of the court, racking up 2.7 blocks per game during his lone season in college. But the one area where Drummond needs to refine his skills is on offense. The 19-year-old center shot just 29.5 percent from the free-throw line while having troubles establishing any sort of back-to-the-basket post-up game last year. He lacks a go-to post move and the necessary footwork to thrive at the NBA level immediately, but Drummond is expected to get better in those areas, and as the second youngest player in his draft class he has plenty of time to figure things out. The Pistons figure to patient with Drummond, but if he can take strides in his offensive development, he could see enough run to be a factor in blocks and rebounds by the All-Star break.