Has Andre Drummond peaked or is there more room for improvement?

What should you expect from Andre Drummond going forward during his career? Is he for real in fantasy? Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we pose a question to a panel of ESPN fantasy basketball experts to gauge their thoughts on a hot topic.

Today's contributors are ESPN Fantasy's André Snellings, Jim McCormick, John Cregan and Kyle Soppe.


Andre Drummond was a mess last season, but he has become a top-20 fantasy player this season. Has the 24-year-old hit his ceiling? Was this campaign a fluke? Who is Andre Drummond in fantasy?

Kyle Soppe: Drummond has been a fringe elite fantasy asset this season, and that is exactly what I'd expect moving forward. Based on the limitations of his skill set, the ceiling is only so high, but that doesn't mean he can't continue to put up top-notch numbers in the categories he does contribute in.

Drummond has given fantasy managers at least 2.6 blocks-plus-steals from Day 1, and with five straight seasons during which he has not only averaged at least 13 points and 13 boards, but also as not missed more than two games, the safety that comes with rostering Drummond is as comforting as it gets in the early rounds.

Would I love to see him add to his game the way Jonas Valanciunas has this season in terms of threatening defenses with a respectable set shot? Of course, but I'm not counting on it. Over the past three seasons, you're looking at 15 points and 14 rebounds a night, and that is roughly what I'd expect to see in the coming years.

Jim McCormick: Fears of producing alongside Blake Griffin have been assuaged, Drummond has led the league with an absurd 17 rebounds per game since Griffin joined the Pistons, compared to 15.3 before the blockbuster move.

I admire Drummond's atypically high steal rate, as he's seventh in the NBA in deflections -- the only center among a field of deft defensive wings and point guards. He's also top 10 in box outs, signaling some old-school hustle to his game.

There are other signs of encouraging growth that suggest Drummond's ascent is not only sustainable but possibly part of an upward swing in playmaking and efficiency; he has posted an assist percentage of 14.6, having never topped six percent in previous campaigns.

Here is the list of players in NBA history to average at least 14.8 PPG, 15.1 RPG, 1.5 SPG and 1.7 BPG: Andre Drummond this season. Now that he's not a Dwight-like blight on your fantasy team's three throw rate, I consider Drummond, still in his athletic prime, an elite fantasy center going forward and a high-floor third-round pick in drafts next fall.

André Snellings: Drummond hasn't hit his theoretical peak yet, he and actually introduced some new elements to his game this season that could continue to develop for him moving forward. The biggest change was his massive improvement in free throw percentage, as he went from a career 38.1 FT% during his first five seasons to 61.3 FT% this season.

The improvement itself was a sea change for Drummond, but it also established the precedent that he can work on his shot in the offseason and get better, something we never saw from guys like Ben Wallace or Shaquille O'Neal.

Another area of mass improvement was his passing game, as he went from a career 0.7 assists and 0.47 assist-to-turnover ratio during his first five seasons to 3.1 assists and a 1.19 assist-to-turnover ratio this year.

Drummond is already the best rebounder in the NBA, but if he continues to polish his offense the way that he did this offseason, he still has upside, as he's still 2-3 years away from when most big men hit their peaks around age 27.

John Cregan: In previous seasons, Drummond had an obvious statistical deficiency that cried to be papered over: anemic free-throw percentage. He improved that mark by nearly 20 percentage points this season, going from 42 FT% to 61 FT%.

Drummond's ongoing fantasy issue: the areas he excels in (volume-based stats like blocks and rebounds) tend to maintain at best as a player ages.

Unless he finds another gear at the free throw line, it's likely he's bumping up against his ceiling.