How We Got Here
Andre Drummond is THE prime example of why fantasy value is not equal to real-life value. When you look at his stats, with career averages of 13.8 REB, 1.4 STL, and 1.5 BLK you think you are looking at the best rebounder in the game and an elite defensive player. Surely this guy must be an elite player and perennial All-Star! The reality is far from that. First off, he is a player who is a non-factor from behind the arc, dismal from the free-throw line, and he doesn’t even have elite efficiency on his 2-point attempts. This year, his effective field goal percentage sits at a dismal 47.4%. This is ranked 118th in the league among qualifiers, below Kelly Oubre Jr. even with Oubre’s dismal start. Even though he is nowhere near the type of player any NBA team should be running their offense through in the modern game, he constantly demands the ball, putting his usage rate at 30.8%, higher than Kawhi Leonard, De’Aaron Fox, and Nikola Jokic. Simply put, he plays like he is Hakeem Olujawon when his skill level is that of Charlotte Hornets Dwight Howard. These, along with his bloated contract are the primary reasons why his real-life value is very low, and why his situation is causing serious uncertainty for his fantasy owners.
Now for the breakdown of the situation Drummond is in. Drummond hasn’t played a game since February 12. The Cavaliers have come out and blatantly said that he will not be playing NBA basketball until he is on a different team, whether that be via a buyout or a trade. Potential suitors for Drummond include the Raptors, Celtics, and Heat. Going on a contender that has a quality center already on the roster would certainly reduce Drummond’s minutes, as like I explained before he is simply not a good basketball player. Drummond’s minutes have already suffered this season with the Cavs due to their big man depth, as he had been above 33 MIN since 2017-18 but this season that number is all the way down to 28.9 MIN. Reducing those minutes to around 20-22 a game could put Drummond out of the top 100 all together. I see a lot of similarities between Drummond and Hassan Whiteside, two centers who are statistical studs but have very little value in real life. After being an elite fantasy player last year, Whiteside has fallen off a cliff this year and now isn’t even worth rostering unless you desperately need blocks. There is definitely some risk that Drummond could experience a similar decline on a new team, although Drummond won’t fall off the map like Whiteside did.
What To Do With Drummond
If you own Drummond right now, I would probably advise holding him despite all the shade I have thrown his way. Simply put, he is worth next to nothing in the trade market right now relative to what he is capable of doing. If he does end up on a team like the Celtics that is in desperate need of a big man, he could very well have no drop off at all. However, if someone offered me a top 100 player who fits my build for Drummond, I’d have to seriously consider accepting. Drummond has already fallen outside the top 50 fantasy players this year based on per-game value, and as previously stated there is serious risk of a minutes and opportunity decrease. Ultimately, the decision is yours based on your team, but be wary of 1) selling him for pennies on the dollar (i.e. don’t trade him for a DeAndre Jordan type because of this article) and 2) a decrease in production on a new team.