Andre Drummond is the worst free throw shooter the NBA has ever seen. That may sound harsh fro a guy who just inked a max contract extension this offseason, but it's true. Nobody has ever had this volume of attempts with such a low rate of success. It's caused some people to wonder if he should attempt to shoot his free throws underhanded, which Drummond has said in the past that he won't do. However, Stan Van Gundy has talked to his big man about trying it out.
In the press conference announcing Drummond's new five-year, $130 million, Drummond and Van Gundy both mentioned an expected improvement in the poor free throw shooting. Van Gundy said he was "really optimistic" about free throw improvement, while Drummond claims they've found something that works.
#Pistons SVG on Drummond: "I'm really optimistic he's going to come back and shoot free throws a lot better."— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) July 15, 2016
#Pistons Drummond on FT: "I just try different tactics ... we've found something that works and we'll stick with it -- you'll find out."— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) July 15, 2016
In four years in the league, Drummond's accuracy at the charity stripe is just 38 percent on 1,438 attempts. He's the only player in NBA history to take at least that many free throw attempts and connect on less than 40 percent of them. Only Ben Wallace (41.4 percent) and DeAndre Jordan (42.1 percent) have taken at least 1,400 free throws in their careers and hit less than 45 percent. So finding a new stroke that at least brings Drummond closer to 50 percent than the 35.5 percent he shot last season would be a huge improvement.
Drummond has been one of the guys subjected to the "Hack-a" strategy of intentionally fouling poor free throw shooters. The league is altering its rules for the upcoming season to curb the strategy's usage, but Drummond will still be the target of these tactics prior to the last two minutes of every quarter.
The Houston Rockets recently drafted Chinanu Onuaku out of Louisville. He shoots free throws underhanded. Maybe not being the only person to do it will inspire Drummond to give it a try or maybe they've just found an adjustment in his shooting stroke and mental approach that works better. We'll see soon enough.