Way back in the middle of July, just after the initial flurry of free agent activity had subsided, Pistons’ Big Kahuna Stan Van Gundy said they would start to talk contract extension with Andre Drummond. Because the Pistons are fully committed to Drummond, and he is a clear max contract guy, this should have come together quickly.
But as we reach the end of September, there is no deal.
What gives? Drummond wasn’t talking at Pistons’ media day, but Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press explains the situation well.
“Everybody comes to a point in time in their career when they are going to deal with contract situations, and it’s better that I keep it as a personal thing and just focus on what I can control right now, which is making my team better,” Drummond said on the eve of training camp…
The Pistons would like to wait and put off the extension until next off-season. If Drummond agreed, his hold of only $8.2 million would count against the 2016-17 salary cap, not the $20-million hold if he were to sign before Oct. 31.
The Pistons could use that roughly $12 million during the league’s free agency period – and then use their Bird Rights on Drummond to go over the salary cap and retain their own free agent.
The Pistons are asking Drummond to do what the Spurs asked Kawhi Leonard did for the Spurs to help them sign LaMarcus Aldridge. He held off on his extension for a year, which gave the Spurs some financial flexibility, and then they came back at the end with the expected max contract.
However, that comes with risk for Drummond — if he were to suffer a severe injury this season he might never see that money. Notice that this summer a number of top players, including Kevin Love and Anthony Davis, took security over a potentially larger payday.
If Davis pushes for the security, the Pistons will give him the extension now. It’s just something to watch going forward.