Brought in over this past summer in replacement of the veteran Tristan Thompson’s second-half contributions, Andre Drummond has had the most unique season of his ten-year career. The former two-time all-star and four-time rebounding champion started coming off the bench a few seasons ago, but it’s taken even a step down from that this year. He’s appeared in only 38 of the Bulls’ 51 games and averages a career-low 12.8 minutes per contest. Despite the short time on the court, he’s brought a skill set to Chicago’s lineup that they’ve failed to find anywhere else on the roster, and it could help save their 2022-23′ campaign.
Making Use Of His Opportunities
Drummond has often been admittedly frustrated with being a healthy scratch several times this year but continues to flourish when given a chance. In last night’s win over the Charlotte Hornets, he took 15 minutes of playing time and made history with it.
This isn’t the first time the Bulls’ bench big man has put up monster numbers in limited action, furthering his place in the record books with last night’s effort.
Despite his limited minutes and playing time overall, Drummond still leads the team in offensive rebounding at 2.2 per game and in dunks, which are more emphatic than most, and in field goal percentage at over 60%. He’s also grabbed ten or more rebounds in ten out of the twelve games that he’s played 15 or more minutes, a figure that would certainly lead the team given more minutes.
Win-Win For Chicago
The best part of his latest resurgence is that his next direction is a win-win scenario for the Bulls however it shakes out a week from now.
Option A: Trade him to a contender
If the rumors are true, Drummond already has one foot out the door in the trade market and will be gone. Performances like this only increase his asking price and gain more of a return for the Bulls. Putting up monstrous numbers in limited minutes is exactly what contending teams need from a center off the bench, and he’s more than proven to bring energy and passion to the second unit.
Option B: Trade Vucevic and Drummond’s playing time increases
With Vucevic in the middle of the hottest stretch of his career, and a looming extension needing to be done this summer, it might be the perfect time to part ways with the two-time all-star stretch center. There’s been plenty of chatter that it’s a realistic possibility, and Bulls’ insider K.C. Johnson thinks it’s a foregone conclusion.
If Vucevic were to be shipped off, Drummond would likely assume more playing time. Some in the Windy City have already pleaded that he be on the court more, so it could be a welcomed sight. Billy Donovan has often cited a lack of “effort, compete, and pride” following losses, and Drummond might be the Chicago Bull who embodies all three the most. Chicago also ranks in the bottom five in rebounding as a team and is in the middle of the pack in paint scoring, both of which would jolt up the rankings after Drummond’s increased minutes.
Possibly the biggest exposure that Andre Drummond has led viewers to notice is the desperation he plays with. Donovan recently spoke following a string of losses about how this team needs to play with more “back against the wall” mentality, that every game is a “must-win,” and that he needs to see more “desperation from our players” throughout the entire game. It’s easy to see those qualities in the Bulls’ reserve center. His individual frustrations this season and the teams have created an urgency and aggression that has rarely been seen elsewhere on the floor this season for Chicago. One would think that sitting below .500 through 50 games and out of the playoffs entirely would extract that passion from more players than just him.
Bulls nation, should Andre Drummond be given more opportunities, or has this impressive stretch off the bench only driven his price tag up as the trade deadline approaches?
I have no idea why Drummond hasn’t played more. His productivity in limited minutes has been obvious.
Id keep Drummond
I think that IF – and that is a BIG IF – they can get real value for him, Vooch should get traded.
I don’t know which of at least a half dozen – or more – teams, particularly in the P.O. possibility clogged WC, might look at him really favorably and give up solid young talent, but if there is one, the Bulls should pull the trigger.