Starter: Andre Drummond
Depth: Zaza Pachulia
I just mentioned that I think we’re collectively underrating Griffin a little bit and I kind of think we’re doing the same thing with Andre Drummond. He’s a very good player! A bit anachronistic and not the type of player you want to build a franchise around, sure, but he’s still very good and a much better defender than he gets credit for. He has led the league in total offensive rebounds five consecutive seasons. And he can shoot free throws now, making over 60 percent last season, which is a huge improvement over his previous career high of 41 percent.
The problem is that his offensive game remains rudimentary. He’s an athletic rim-runner out of the pick-and-roll who can convert alley-oops and easy baskets from the restricted area, but remains incapable of much else. He has no shot to speak of, which is ultimately fine considering his skill set and role, but you’d like to see a bit more of a post game than he has in light of that. Regardless, he’s a deserved two time All-Star even if it appears that he’s reached his ceiling.
Backing up Drummond will be Zaza Pachulia, fresh off two titles with the Warriors. Pachulia is entering his sixteenth NBA season so you pretty much know what you’re going to get with him. He’s limited, but capable of rebounding, defending, and scoring easy buckets in a limited role. Also, when you play him, there’s a not entirely unrealistic chance that he’ll injure his opponent by playing recklessly, which is kind of his calling card.