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Drummond vows to improve after correcting deviated septum

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

The Detroit Pistons are banking on a huge bounce-back campaign from their franchise center.

Andre Drummond stalled in his development during the first season of his five-year maximum contract in 2016-17. He didn't dominate on defense and wasn't a positive factor on offense outside of rebounds and the occasional roll to the hoop. That's not what the Pistons hoped for when they made him the second-highest paid center in the league.

Drummond is determined to make the leap this year, too. In addition to slimming down over the offseason, the 23-year-old underwent surgery to correct a deviated septum that should help him breathe easier.

"I’m not going to play with a filter anymore," Drummond told Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press.

"I’m going to play the game I need to play to be a great player for my team. I feel like I’m in great shape and I can actually breathe. I don’t get tired as easily and I’m sleeping better. Everything has been a plus since I got that surgery."

Drummond averaged less than 30 minutes per game for the first time since his rookie year in 2016-17, potentially due to a lack of endurance. The majority of his production is tied to his athleticism, so increasing his stamina should go a long way toward improving his game.

But more than anything else, the Pistons just want to see two things from Drummond: better defense and passable free-throw shooting. If he can accomplish those goals - in addition to the double-double he provides each night - the team will be more than happy.

Drummond averaged 13.6 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks last season while Detroit missed the playoffs for the fourth time in his five-year career.

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