Over the summer, the Chicago Bulls front office had a clear directive to bring in veteran help, patch the holes in this roster, and do it for as cheap as possible. The solution? Bringing in Goran Dragic and Andre Drummond. The results have been varied thus far, but after last night, it’s become impossible to deny Drummond’s impact on this team.
Drummond was all over the place last night, racking up 21 points (on a perfect 9-for-9 from the field), 15 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block. He played a major role in securing the win and helped the Bulls finally close out a game against an inferior team. Drummond has consistently provided incredible production in limited minutes, averaging 6.7 points and 6.8 rebounds in just 13 minutes per game. He’s averaging the most rebounds per 100 possessions of his entire career in Chicago, while also posting the highest offensive rating of his career since his sophomore season in 2014.
Still, that hasn’t prevented trade rumors from surfacing. “Do not be surprised, league sources say, if the Bulls move former All-Star center Andre Drummond before the Feb. 9 trade. Drummond has been allotted fewer than 15 minutes in each of Chicago’s past 12 games,” Marc Stein reports.
With head coach Billy Donovan seemingly going away from Drummond as of late, I can definitely see where these rumors stem from. That being said, I believe his recent play has proven why having a backup big that can actually impose his presence on the game through sheer size and force is a valuable tool in the right situations. Since returning from having his role reduced, Drummond has averaged 14.3 points and 10.3 rebounds in his last three contests.
Andre Drummond is too valuable on the boards for the Chicago Bulls to trade him away now that they’re winning.
One report from The Sporting News Spain’s Serge Rabinal recently surfaced tying the Bulls to Pelicans’ center Willy Hernangomez. It’s impossible to know the validity of these rumors or just what the Bulls may actually be looking for in a trade, but one thing’s for sure, a straight-up swap would be a categorical step in the wrong direction for Chicago. Drummond is simply a better basketball player than Hernangomez, and he’s better than most backup centers around the league for that matter.
Drummond proved that last night, and he proved it last season on the 76ers as well. His limitations may prevent him from ever being an All-Star caliber player again, but at 29 years old, Drummond clearly still has a lot left in the tank to be a serviceable reserve for many years to come.
Between Drummond’s low post presence and on the boards, and Derrick Jones Jr.’s ability to play above the rim and be a lob threat, the Bulls have a good problem on their hands here. Both players will see heavy minutes at the five moving forward, depending on the matchup. This added versatility to the roster will make it that much easier for Chicago to climb the standings and hopefully compete to advance through the playoffs.
With no obvious upgrade likely available on the market right now, and Drummond playing some of his best basketball, the odds of the Chicago Bulls standing pat at the trade deadline seem more and more likely. Whether or not that’s a good or bad thing, well, you can decide.