Bulls: Can Andre Drummond become the GOAT rebounder?

Andre Drummond, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Andre Drummond, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

After being one of the worst rebounding teams in the league last season, the Chicago Bulls clearly intended to address this hole by signing Andre Drummond as their biggest offseason acquisition. Standing above all his peers, Drummond is the most prolific rebounder among active players today and should help lift this team to success next year.

In an interview with Connecticut-based news page CT Insider, Drummond provided insight into his daily life and even sparked debate regarding his status in the rebounding GOAT debate.

"“I’m on my way. By the time I retire, I’ll go down as the best rebounder ever — if not already.”"

Drummond stacks up quite well against his colleagues here, earning four rebounding championships from 2016 to 2020. Only four players in league history have ever won more, including NBA legends Wilt Chamberlain, Dennis Rodman, Moses Malone, and Dwight Howard. As you can see, he’s not quite the runaway favorite for the title of rebounding GOAT here.

That being said, there’s certainly some merit to Drummond’s argument. Considering he’s 10th all-time in rebounds per game (one spot ahead of Rodman) and holds the highest all-time rebounding percentage at 24.66% with only Rodman coming even close to his record at 23.44% — the next highest being Reggie Evans at 21.87% — Drummond’s track record can’t be ignored.

Andre Drummond may be the greatest rebounder in the game today, but how does the Chicago Bulls’ newest acquisition stack up in the GOAT debate?

Although Drummond has been a per-game beast up to this point in his career, he still has yet to even crack the top 25 when it comes to total all-time rebounding numbers. Patrick Ewing is currently holding down that 25th spot with 11,607 career rebounds to Drummond’s 9,519. For that reason alone, it’s a bit humorous for Drummond to believe he already deserves consideration for the greatest rebounder.

Longevity is incredibly important when it comes to these types of debates, and Drummond simply does not have that yet. Tim Duncan, Karl Malone, and Shaquille O’Neal are great examples of this, each ranking 6th, 7th, and 15th respectively in all-time total rebounds despite not once ever leading the league in rebounds per game.

Drummond’s peak can go toe-to-toe with anyone, but there’s a lot holding him back from reaching the lengthy careers the others have had. Drummond’s stamina has limited his rebounding potential, as he’s averaged less than 30 minutes per game over the course of his career and his offensive game certainly isn’t versatile enough to warrant any more play time than that.

There’s also the fact that Drummond has already reached a point where he’s accepted multiple contracts at or just above the minimum. Duncan, Malone, and Shaq all played 19 seasons in the league, whereas Drummond has only registered 10. Given the way things are going, it’s hard envisioning him lasting another decade. Even if Drummond does manage to stick around, it’s still virtually impossible to crack the top 3 given how Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are so far ahead of the competition.

If he can maintain his constancy over the next few years, I have no doubt in my mind that Drummond can get his name into the conversation with the likes of Rodman for the title of best specialist on the boards, but he’s still got a lot of work to do. Drummond should be a very good addition for the Chicago Bulls this upcoming season, but until he bolsters his resume a fair bit, maybe he should reconsider applying for the position of rebounding GOAT.

Next. 2 homegrown talents who shouldn't play for Chicago. dark