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Joe Dumars calls Andre Drummond untouchable, but what about Greg Monroe?

Jul 17, 2013, 5:59 PM EDT

Lawrence Frank, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond

Just six other players have matched the per-minute scoring, rebounding and blocking rates Andre Drummond posted last season (minimum: 400 minutes).

Most of them are in the Hall of Fame. Bill Walton did it ages 22 and 24, Robert Parish at 25, Hakeem Olajuwon at 27 and 28 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at 28. Another likely future Hall of Famer, Dwight Howard, did it at 23 and 24. Marvin Webster put together such a season, too, at age 24.

All in all, it’s pretty great company. Those are difficult marks to reach, and the few who’ve played so well have done so in their primes.

Drummond did it at 19.

So, it’s no wonder the Pistons hold him in such high esteem.

Joe Dumars, via Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News:

“There are guys who, a pecking order of things we would or wouldn’t do, Drummond is certainly one of those guys we wouldn’t move,” said Dumars, who wouldn’t claim anyone else as “untouchable”.

I don’t really like the idea of an untouchable player. What if the Heat offer LeBron James for Drummond? The Pistons wouldn’t say no.

Of course, Miami wouldn’t trade LeBron for Drummond, and perhaps I’m being too literal. Drummond has the potential to become the type of singular force teams don’t trade for packages of lesser players, and those top-end players are rarely traded for each other. So, obviously, finding a worthwhile trade involving Drummond would be extremely difficult, perhaps to the point of impossible, even if the Pistons were willing to deal him.

Regardless of the semantics, Drummond isn’t going anywhere. But what about Greg Monroe, whom Dumars didn’t mention?

Zach Lowe of Grantland:

some teams inquired about Monroe before the draft and were met with a flat “no” as to his availability.

Monroe has proven more than Drummond, but he’s older, heading into free agency next offseason and has shown few indications of defensive development. He’s the type of player who’s good enough to command a package full of valuable, but lesser, players, but not too good to preclude the Pistons from trading him.

The Pistons obviously aren’t rushing to trade Monroe, but it’s certainly more likely than them trading Drummond.

  1. senorpapino - Jul 17, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    Drummond has the potential to be as dominant of force as Shaq. Just some stats here:

    19 year old Shaq @LSU – 13.9 pts, 12 boards, 3.5 blocks per game
    19 year old Drummond @Summer League (much better competition) – 15.7 pts, 15 boards, 2.7 blocks, 2.7 steals

    He very well could be untouchable.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 17, 2013 at 6:43 PM

      I’m a fan of Drummond, but a major issue holding him back is his free throws.

      If the Pistons trade away Monroe, their front line would be Josh Smith at the 4 and Drummond at the 5. That pairing could be dominant defensively, but check out their free throw shooting numbers.

      Smith: 51.7%
      Drummond: 37.1%

      In close games in the fourth quarter, either the coach benches the entire starting front court, or he leaves at least one AWFUL free throw shooter on the floor that is vulnerable to a hack-a-Shaq strategy. Drummond is young and therefore it’s reasonable to hope he improves, but Josh Smith is who he is at this point and isn’t likely to change.

      Monroe hits 70% of his free throws, so he’s not a liability in close games, so while his defense is spotty at best, he’s the only Pistons’ big who can be trusted to play big minutes in close games.

      • fredgb21 - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:25 AM

        Casual, there’s a much better reason you don’t dump Monroe. You need a bigs rotation, not just 2 starters.

        The NBA is not a video game. There’s 96 mpg available at PF/C. Bigs don’t play that many minutes. I’d be shocked if Drummond gets 30+ mpg in the next few yrs at his size and age.

        There are already starter minutes available for J. Smith at PF, with Monroe.

        Secondly, Monroe is by far the best option of the 3 to trigger offense, the other two better finishers. Smith is a good passer on the move, but he gets stuck with the ball high too often if he’s the primary.. this is when he ends up jacking. Monroe is and will always be a necessary player.

  2. tigers182 - Jul 17, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Drummond should be untouchable. If he’s developed right there’s no reason he can’t be the best center in the nba. Monroe can be a great B player and will command more money on the market than he’s worth.

    • fredgb21 - Jul 19, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      Why do you think you only need one player? I disagree with your assertion anyway. G. Monroe with a serviceable (willing) jumper is a 20 and 10 guy who can handle and pass, and you can run offense through. Very rare. He’s much more nimble and mobile and a better runner than given credit for, and is a great on the break for a big because he can catch and handle on the move and even lead it occassionally.

      G. Monroe is also a very heady, mature player who’s never injured. You can say ‘more money than he’s worth’, well thats not what the market will dictate. GM’s will trip over themselves for the right to play him max money if he hits that J this year. He needs to improve on D, but he has hands, strength and intelligence to be okay on that end.

  3. ohioteamsusuallysuck - Jul 17, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    I wanted cavs to draft him

    • tuberippin - Jul 17, 2013 at 10:03 PM

      cool story

  4. biasedhomer - Jul 17, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    The should trade Monroe to upgrade the backcourt. Smith, Monroe, and Drummond up front is nice and all, but they need a guard, Brandon Knight isn’t going to cut it.

  5. 00maltliquor - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Man, has Monroe’s stock within the Piston’s organization dropped with the arrival of Drummond! Greg was all that and a bag of Lay’s potato chips just a year ago.

    • badintent - Jul 18, 2013 at 1:56 AM

      NACHOS Chips !

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:04 AM

        IDK if Lay’s makes Nacho. That’s Doritos, but I could be wrong. But for what it’s worth….Salt and Vinegar!!!!! or Limon! (< I understand that's an acquired taste to prefer SnV,and sure to bring a lot of thumbs down, but I can't help it. I love that stuff!)

      • badintent - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:15 AM

        my bad, Doritas makes the best. pass the Salsa ! I dig the lime flavored Tacos chips too.. I like the sour cream flavor chips by Ruffles.

      • badintent - Aug 8, 2013 at 12:40 AM

        Just tried Lays Stax cheddar. good. real good.

      • badintent - Aug 15, 2013 at 12:29 AM

        Try Tix Sticks ! really nice with sour cream dip

    • jaerba - Jul 18, 2013 at 2:17 AM

      Monroe is kind of like Bosh was on the Raptors, but less developed and less athletic. Strong offensive numbers on a bad team, but never dominant and never a major difference maker on defense.

      The poor defense (it’s not average defense, it’s actually poor defense) will really catch up to him, and he’s a hard worker but he doesn’t have an outside shot yet.

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