2014-2015 stats: 12.4 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 0.5 APG, 1.8 BPG
Want me to make you feel old? Andre Drummond was born on August 10, 1993. He is the 6-11 starting center for the Detroit Pistons, making $2.6 million this season. The one thing they say in basketball is that you can’t teach height. The UConn native still has a ton of potential in this league, whether you want to believe it or not.
His scoring is down one point from last year, but so are his minutes per game. Even with his minutes being down, he is top 10 in double-doubles this year and second in the league in RPG game, trailing only the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan. Trading away Josh Smith would lead you to believe that the Pistons have faith that they can build around the young pieces on their current roster. I’m waiting for Drummond to completely break out and be an 18-point and 14-rebound kind of player. He has great low-post presence, rebounds the ball well, and has a knack for being a beast under the hoop, on both sides of the court.
I can easily see Andre Drummond being an All-Star-caliber player for the next handful of seasons, especially playing in the East that is void of true centers.
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2014-2015 stats: 16.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.3 APG, 1.6 SPG
The more minutes this kid gets and the harder he works, the better player he will become. The scariest part about his game is his ability to put the ball on the floor and create his own shot. It also doesn’t hurt to have incredible leaping ability.
His 2014-2015 season is exactly what you want to see in a player’s sophomore season: Growth. Victor Oladipo continues to grow his game. He is averaging more minutes, more points, and less turnovers, all important ingredients in developing a young star.
Kehinde Babatunde Victor Oladipo (yes, that is his real name) is still only 22 years old and is still figuring out his role in this league. He reminds me a young Russell Westbrook, the score-first type of point guard that ultimately makes all of his teammates better. After winning the slam dunk contest, Oladipo’s goal should be to take the All-Star Game. Whether it is next season or in three seasons, you will eventually see the Magic’s point guard in the big game guarding Steph Curry.
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Being selected to an NBA All-Star Game is an interesting accomplishment. In some ways it is a popularity contest. In other ways, and in most cases, it is a testament to the high level of play throughout one half of the basketball season for any particular player. This year, we have five first-time All-Star selections. These players include Kyle Lowry, Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Klay Thompson, and Kobe Bryant’s replacement, DeMarcus Cousins. They’re all young, deserving players that have bright futures in the NBA.
Here at The Drop, we decided to shake our magic 8-ball and predict the next five players that will be first-time suitors for the 2016 All-Star Game being played next year in Toronto. The factors we looked for were growth, surrounding players, improvement, and raw ability. Four of the five players in the list are playing on teams that are currently below .500, while the Spurs and Kawhi Leonard are 12 games above .500. If and when these teams improve, the guys on this list will be the reason for it.
Victor Oladipo and Nikola Vucevic are two young talents playing together in Orlando, while Andrew Wiggins and Andre Drummond are cornerstones to their respective franchises. Kawhi Leonard already has a Finals MVP on his resume so it only makes sense that next is an All-Star selection.
A lot has to go right for these guys to be selected to their first All-Star Game next season. But with the proper work ethic and correct mindset, it could happen. Scroll through as we state our reasons why these are 5 Young Ballers That Will Be Playing in the NBA All-Star Game Next Year.
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image via Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images