The Detroit Pistons and Atlanta Hawks are talking possible Andre Drummond trade. There’s a little bit of logic there in that the Hawks are the worst defensive rebounding team in the NBA and Drummond is the best rebounding big in the league. Plus, there are multiple ways to match up salaries and picks to make this come together.
Mostly, this is the Pistons doing their due diligence, realizing that Drummond almost certainly will opt-out of the $28.8 million he is owed next season, and they don’t want to lose him and get nothing in return. Plus, Drummond is a former All-Star who may believe he is a max player, but do the Pistons want to pay that next July? Will another team? (There’s a healthy debate around the league about what Drummond will get on the open market.)
One other question to ask:
Why did that story leak now? Maybe to put a little pressure on other teams to up their offers.
Atlanta is not the only team kicking the tires on a Drummond trade, reports Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports.
Boston, Dallas, Toronto have also registered interest in Andre Drummond, according to sources. Drummond has relationships with Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Lowry
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) January 3, 2020
We’ve seen this before, leak the name of one trade suitor to shake the bushes and see if other teams step up with better offers. The Pistons want the return they would get from trading a star, but that may well be a reach.
The teams mentioned by Goodwill make limited sense.
While the Celtics could use more depth up front, to take on Drummond’s salary would require trading someone such as Gordon Hayward, plus giving up a pick, and is that an upgrade in Boston? Dallas makes sense as a fit next to Kristpas Porzingis, but in addition to Courtney Lee the Mavericks would need to throw in a player such as Dwight Powell, and that seems unlikely. For the Raptors, is Drummond an upgrade over Marc Gasol (when he’s healthy)?
All these teams need to ask themselves are they trading for Drummond to rent him for the rest of the season, or do they plan to re-sign him? And at what price?
Drummond the free agent is going to be interesting in July. He’s a quality center who is as good a rebounder as there is in the league — a very valuable skill. He’s also has a limited offensive skill set that the league is moving away from among bigs. He’s okay on defense, but not impressive or consistent. Center has become a mercenary, “we can get two-thirds of the production for one-third of the price” position in the NBA. Drummond has skills, but how much are teams willing to pay for them? From the numbers I have heard bounced around, he may be disappointed when the offers come in.