Earlier today I wrote a piece for Bleacher Report on Andre Drummond, who in my opinion is easily the most interesting rookie story of the year. Few people expected him to look even remotely dominant as a 19 year old rookie - and so far he has looked phenomenal.
I am surprised that more people have not made note of this. Drummond does not look potentially good - he looks potentially great. There simply is no other player in the league that is this big and fast, including Dwight Howard. While Damian Lillard and a few other rookies have already looked very good, I think no team would have drafted Drummond lower than second if the draft was held today.
So how did Drummond slip all the way to ninth in the draft? A better question is: How the hell was Drummond so relatively ineffective at UConn? And for a guy with such incredible physical tools, how did Drummond not make an immediate strong impression in college?
Those are good questions. We can blame UConn's system, the turmoil that surrounded that team last year, and several other things - but the truth is Drummond never was consistently dominant at any point in his college career. If he ever had been, there is no way he would have slipped out of the top five.
It is a credit to draft pundits like Jonathan Givony and Aran Smith that they kept Drummond as the second best prospect in the 2012 draft. Most teams and scouts had stopped thinking Drummond would ever turn into a truly elite center. The numbers simply were not there, and neither were the visual signs of a player that could ever come close to realizing his upside.
Obviously there is a long road ahead, and Drummond could end up disappointing us. But a big man this talented rarely comes along. People are going to start paying attention pretty soon.