NBA analyst thinks Bulls may have made a mistake signing Andre Drummond

nba analyst thinks bulls may have made a mistake signing andre drummond

Former Brooklyn Nets center Andre Drummond.

The Bulls had a relatively quiet offseason in which the addition of Andre Drummond was their biggest free agent signing. Drummond started last season with the 76ers before getting traded to the Nets along with Ben Simmons and Seth Curry. He averaged 7.9 points and 9.3 rebounds in 19.7 minutes over 73 games with the 76ers and Nets.

On paper, Drummond is an upgrade over last year’s reserve centers: Tony Bradley (3 points and 3.4 rebounds last season) and Tristan Thompson (5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds in 23 games with the Bulls). Chicago’s only other option was second-year center Marko Simonovic (1.9 points and 1.1 rebounds). Drummond’s skills can be useful but will his signing address Chicago’s biggest issue?

How Andre Drummond could help the Bulls

The Bulls signed Drummond to a two-year, $6.6M contract to help fix two of their problem areas, total rebounds and offensive rebounds. The Bulls ranked 28th in the NBA with 42.3 rebounds per game and 29th with 8.6 offensive rebounds per game.

Drummond has led the league in rebounding four times, including three straight seasons from 2018-20. Despite this, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report thinks that the Bulls didn’t consider Drummond’s struggles as a rim protector when signing him.

“While Drummond will forever be one of the better backup centers as long as he’s in the league, the 28-year-old isn’t exactly a true rim protector, either. He allowed opponents to shoot 60.0% at the rim last season, ranking in the middle of the pack (21st out of 40) of players who defended at least 280 of such shots or more. Vucevic was 31st at 63.8%, so Drummond is a slight step up here.”

Can Drummond make a difference for the Bulls? He is not a traditional rim protector but his size can present problems for opponents when driving in the lane.

According to Basketball-Reference, Drummond posted a 102 Defensive Rating (an estimate of points allowed per 100 possessions), third-best among players that appeared in at last 41 games last season. The Bulls hope that the moves they made in the last two years can help them reach another another level as long as everyone stays healthy and Drummond can be a big contributor.

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