Bulls’ Andre Drummond focused on Nikola Vučević pairing, not trade rumors originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Presented by Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
No height is sacred for Andre Drummond‘s “too small” gesture.
“It don’t matter who it is,” Drummond said.
So, yes, Drummond flashed it—twice—on Rudy Gobert. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year stands 7 feet, 1 inch tall.
“That’s cool,” Drummond said, laughing.
If this marked Drummond’s last game in a Chicago Bulls uniform, what a way to go out. Not only did Drummond start alongside fellow big man Nikola Vučević for the first time, he finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds and four blocks. He also looked to the United Center rafters after scoring over Gobert on second effort and flashed an obscene gesture that typically draws a league fine.
“Oh, that’s coming,” Drummond said, again laughing.
The big man was all smiles even as trade interest intensifies in the backup big man. League sources said multiple teams have engaged the Bulls in trade talks for Drummond.
“I control what I can control,” Drummond said. “I’ve been doing this for 12 years. There’s nothing I can do about it. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, great. Either way, I’m going to continue to come in and do my job on a daily basis.”
Asked what he wants to happen, Drummond uttered a similar “control what he can control” answer.
“It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been waiting for this moment. I’m looking forward to playing alongside him more,” Drummond said. “They gotta pick their poison. Let me beat you up in the paint or he can shoot the 3 or beat you up in the paint. It’s a great duo.”
Vučević finished with 24 points and also had four blocks.
“As the game went on, we played a lot better together,” Vučević said. “When the game first started, we were a little stagnant trying to make it work.”
The starting lineup was obviously matchup-based against Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns. But Drummond insisted it can work against smaller lineups too. Vučević was less confident.
“If it’s a team that plays with a power forward who’s really good at handling and shooting, that’s hard because we can’t guard fours like that as well,” Vučević said.
Whatever the case, it will be intriguing to see if Drummond is here past Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. Drummond consistently has stated his belief that he remains a starter in this league and played well when Vučević missed time with a groin injury earlier this season.
“With practice and real time together, I don’t see why it can’t work,” Drummond said. “Vooch has played with bigs throughout his career. And I’ve played with other bigs throughout my career. So it’s not a shock factor or nothing new.”
Asked how much the duo has practiced together, Drummond smiled.
“Today,” he said. “But we figured it out. He’s a smart player. I’m a smart player. We found good chemistry.”
Time will tell if that chemistry will have more opportunity to grow.
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