The Celtics are fresh off a 139-107 annihilation of the Los Angeles Lakers which featured Enes Kanter and Daniel Theis having fantastic performances for the C’s frontcourt. However, prior to that game, the Celtics had dropped their last three contests against the Detroit Pistons, Milwaukee Bucks, and Phoenix Suns.
While a crushing victory over their rival Lakers certainly heals most, if not all wounds, let’s not forget everyone who was calling for Danny Ainge to make a move to bolster the Celtics’ frontcourt.
It has been well documented that the Detroit Pistons are shopping their star center, Andre Drummond and ever since the Atlanta Hawks made it public that they were dropping out of the race for the All-Star big man, rumors that the Celtics would be interested were quick to follow.
Drummond carries a $27 million cap hit this year and a player option for 2020/2021 which he is likely to opt out of in hopes of signing a max contract. Drummond is putting up 17.3 points, 15.7 rebounds, on 53% shooting this season.
While those are undeniably great stats, he also shoots an astonishingly low 5% from three on 20 attempts and an underwhelming 60% from the free throw line. Aside from his consistently horrible shooting performances, his defense is not much better; his defensive rating is 109.7 and his pick and roll defense is in the 13th percentile. For comparison, Enes Kanter’s defensive rating is 101.7 and is in the 79.7th percentile in the pick and roll.
To give Drummond the benefit of the doubt, he plays 33 minutes per night opposed to Enes’ 18, but the comparison at all should make Celtics fans uneasy. Drummond is undeniably better than Enes Kanter across the board, but their skill sets are so similar in the way that they are elite offensive rebounders and can move relatively well for their size, but they cannot switch onto anyone who does not play the center position, nor can they effectively guard the pick and roll.
Now we are forced to ask: are the Celtics really willing to pay six times as much and give up Gordon Hayward for a big that is marginally better than someone they already have at their disposal?
Unfortunately, the need for a player like Andre Drummond and his current salary trajectory are going in opposite directions so there is simply no way to justify the Celtics making a move for him.