UConn in the NBA: Drummond gets some help in the frontcourt


Cleveland Cavaliers’ Derrick Rose, right, shoots against Detroit Pistons’ Andre Drummond in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Well the excitement of the All-Star starters and reserves announcements has come and gone, and for our former Huskies, there isn’t any excitement at all. None of the players on this list made the All-Star Team this season, although two of them had good cases for it. Going along with the bummer theme, things seem to be going downhill for the pros that bleed blue lately, so let’s hop right into it and see how things are chugging along.

Andre Drummond:

Oh, the real NBA trade season has begun with a bang. And no, Drummond isn’t on the move. But, his team gave him reinforcements in a huge way. ESPN reported last night that Blake Griffin, Willie Reed and Brice Johnson are heading to Detroit while Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic, a first-round pick and a second-round pick will be sent to the Clippers, this is a huge get for the Pistons who will now have a legit star to pair with Drummond, forming a massive front line that should be able to make a playoff push in the East. Drummond was snubbed from the All-Star Game, and was rightfully angry about it, but he might be happier with a better chance to make the playoffs now that Griffin is in town. Meanwhile, the Clippers get a few younger players and picks to start rebuilding with, as they are still trying to trade Lou Williams and DeAndre Jordan for more pieces. At the moment, it looks like everyone wins from this trade, but the biggest winner of all is Drummond.

Kemba Walker:

The other Husky here with a potential All-Star bid. Walker also missed out due to his team’s performance and the guard competition in the East. Walker is having a very fine season still, but the Hornets are 11th in the East and success mattered more to the coaches who picked the All-Star reserves, which explains why Kyle Lowry and John Wall were included over Walker. That isn’t the only drama surrounding Walker though. The trade deadline is Feb. 8 and Walker is still sitting on that trade block patiently awaiting his next move, although he has made it clear he wants to remain with the Hornets. We’ll just have to wait and see how the remainder of Walker’s season will play out.

Jeremy Lamb:

Not much news of Lamb has leaked recently. His play has still been solid, the team has still been underwhelming and the Hornets are still looking to trade Walker (see above). Could Lamb be an addition in a potential trade involving Walker? For sure. If the Hornets want to get rid of Walker, it seems they could be in tear down/rebuild mode, and Lamb could potentially fetch an asset on the trade market like a younger player or a pick. Lamb could end up being a great addition to a playoff team like the Thunder or Wizards that will be looking for depth at the deadline. Watch out for Lamb potentially moving soon, too.

Rudy Gay:

The news for Rudy Gay this week is extremely similar to last week’s analysis. Gay is still out, and now it looks like he will be out until the end of February. What originally looked like a good San Antonio free agent signing might be turning out to be the opposite depending on how many games Gay misses and whether or not he will be full strength come playoff time, when the team needs a full cast just to have the slightest of chances in the tough Western Conference. For a team that has dealt with a smorgasbord of injuries this season, and a player that was returning this season from an Achilles tear, this is truly a bummer.

Shabazz Napier:  

Napier is another trade deadline candidate that could be scooped up by a team looking for a steady backup point guard. Napier’s improvement this season could make him desirable for a team with a weak supporting cast. Portland is in the playoff picture, but there have been rumors of them potentially making a move at the deadline, and there’s a chance Napier could be included in any deal. Stay tuned to see all the spicy drama that unfolds next week in the NBA.

Zac Lane is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at zachary.d.lane@uconn.edu.

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