Andre Drummond on restricted free agency: “I plan on being here”

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Before the November 2 deadline, Andre Drummond did not agree to a contract extension with the Pistons, meaning he’ll hit restricted free agency this summer. But Drummond made it crystal clear to Marc Spears of Yahoo that he wants to stay in Detroit and isn’t planning on going anywhere. The move to put off signing a new deal was made to give the Pistons more cap space to add players in free agency next summer:

“Andre really, really wants to win,” Van Gundy told Yahoo Sports. “We laid out the difference of where we’d be salary-cap wise. It’s almost $13 million. He wants us and [Pistons owner] Tom [Gores] to have all the resources to build this thing. He wants to be part of a winner.”

Drummond said he intends to re-sign with the Pistons.

“I love it here. I plan on being here,” Drummond told Yahoo.

Drummond’s qualifying offer is for $4.4 million, which would serve as his cap hold until he signed a new deal. He’s going to get a max contract that will start at upwards of $20 million per year, so it’s a significant difference in cap space for the Pistons. It’s the same strategy the Spurs used with Kawhi Leonard last summer, putting off an extension and keeping a small cap hold on the books, allowing them to re-sign Danny Green and sign LaMarcus Aldridge before locking Leonard up to a five-year, $94 million contract. The Wizards are doing the same thing with Bradley Beal as well.

Even if Drummond were to sign an offer sheet with another team, Detroit would have matching rights. No matter what, Drummond won’t be playing anywhere else anytime soon.