HANG TIME WEST – News Friday that Andre Drummond declared for the draft is noteworthy but not surprising. Noteworthy because the athletic marvel of a center is a possibility for the No. 2 pick and because he announced in January he would return to Connecticut for a sophomore season. Not surprising because most NBA front offices didn’t believe the claim from three months ago.
Either way, this is more than one of the top storylines of the June 28 draft taking shape, with Drummond the epitome of a high risk-high reward player. This is the Class of 2012 officially forming after the NCAA tournament and before the next major step of the May 30 lottery that will allow team needs to be factored into group and individual workouts.
Two possibilities for the top 10, Indiana center Cody Zeller and North Carolina small forward James Michael McAdoo, announced they are staying in school. So did two other potential first-rounders, Mason Plumlee of Duke and Quincy Miller of Baylor, a particularly good move for Miller, a lottery-level talent who would not have reached those heights in 2012 after a season of freshman transition while coming off a serious knee injury in high school. With college teammate Perry Jones III heading to the NBA, Miller will have a clear path to emerge as a star for the Bears in 2012-13.
Meanwhile, front offices are falling harder for Kentucky’s Anthony Davis by the day. With Davis already a lock to become the first pick, it is not hard to find the new perspective that some teams rate him a better power-forward prospect heading into the draft than Blake Griffin in 2009. Not bad trajectory for a player, Davis, who began the season as part of a small pack for No. 1.
“Substance over style,” one executive said of preferring Davis’ career path over Griffin’s. Not merely a compliment for Davis, it’s also a tweak at the Clippers All-Star.