Philadelphia 76ers: How valuable is Andre Drummond?

Philadelphia 76ers, Andre Drummond (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Dominant post-play seems like a thing of the past in the NBA in 2021. It’s been 10 years since Shaquille O’Neal retired and about 15 years since he was maintaining his place as the most dominant force in the league.
Now we have Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid, Domantas Sabonis, and rookies like Evan Mobley. Centers who have evolved with the game and the way it is played in 2021. This isn’t the early 2000s anymore.
Centers can shoot 3’s, run an offense even bring the ball up the floor. That doesn’t mean there is no value in a more traditional center. There will always be a place in this game for guys DeAndre Jordan, Clint Capela, and Andre Drummond. It’s the same reason that Dwight Howard has been able to hang around in this league long after his prime.
When it’s playoff time you still need that elite rebounder and interior defender. The game slows down and all of a sudden it’s time for the traditional center to shine again.
Clearly, the Philadelphia 76ers miss Embiid and they are far better with him but that doesn’t mean that Drummond can’t or won’t play a very important role for this team as the season wears on. Embiid is notorious for missing a game here or there. Drummond definitely doesn’t provide the offensive threat that Embiid does.
Andre Drummond does provide a dominant presence you can feel confident about as your starting center in the event Embiid does miss a game. Just look at his stat lines from a four-game stretch earlier this season.
This is the kind of presence the Philadelphia 76ers need when Embiid is off the court later in the season or in the playoffs. If they get a series against a team that presents a challenge inside you can spell Embiid for a few minutes here and there and let Drummond be the enforcer that he is. If nothing else he is a great presence on the boards and on defense that can provide 15 to 20 minutes of paint protection and six extra fouls in a physical playoff series.
Sixers fans certainly can’t wait to see Embiid back in the lineup, but there is no guarantee that when he comes back he is immediately the same player. Drummond also provides a presence the Sixers can lean on while Embiid works his way back and gets into shape.
Andre Drummond will only continue to show his value as the season goes on and so far has been. He should continue to be one of the more under-the-radar moves this past offseason that can pay huge dividends for the Philadelphia 76ers that feel like are just a piece or two away from getting over the hump.
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