The woes of the 2013/2014 Pistons has been discussed quite a bit this season. They are now 13 games below .500 and are in the midst of a 4 game losing streak. Coach Maurice Cheeks has already been fired. GM Joe Dumars looks to be 23 games away from needing to update his resume, and rumors of Isiah Thomas being strongly considered as the next GM have started. To make matters worse Dumars spent a significant amount of the team’s cap space in order to put together a roster that on paper looked questionable, and inept of the court.
But there are some positives coming out of this Joe Dumars NBA nightmare. This summer the contracts of both Charlie Villanueva and Rodney Stucky come off the books. And on the court Andre Drummond has begun to fulfill the promise he showed in his rookie season. While his offensive game is still raw, Drummond has already established himself as one of the five best rebounders in the league along with DeAndre Jordan, Kevin Love, Dwight Howard, and DeMarcus Cousins. In particular Drummond has been dominant on the offensive boards leading the NBA with 5.4 per game. Through 59 games Drummond has collected 318 offensive rebounds, putting him on pace to finish with 443 this season.
If Drummond does stay on his current pace he will tie Jayson Williams’ 1997/1998 season for the 7th most offensive rebounds since the three-point era (1979/1980 season). The only players who have collected more offensive rebounds in a single season are Dennis Rodman and Moses Malone. In just his second season Drummond will have grabbed more offensive boards than Shaq, Olajuwon, or Barkley ever did in a single season. Drummond would actually be only the second player since 2000 to grab at least 350 offensive rebounds in a season. The only other person to do so was Elton Brand in 2001/2002.
Joe Dumars has many flaws as a GM, but his record in the draft is incredibly impressive and he appears to have scored another blue chip player in Andre Drummond. Drummond has improved greatly from year one to year two and looks like he can be the best center in the Eastern Conference for the next decade. Now if Dumars could only take back the Josh Smith contract, find a way to keep Greg Monroe, trade Brandon Jennings, and get the team to suck just enough so that he can keep his first round pick (top 8 protected) in the loaded 2014 draft.