Andre Drummond trade rumors: Celtics, Raptors, Mavs, Hawks among potential destinations for Pistons big man
Drummond is reportedly on the trading block, with contenders as well as aspiring young teams showing interest
After making the playoffs last year for the first time since 2016, a disappointing 2019-20 campaign reportedly has the Detroit Pistons . ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the Atlanta Hawks have been engaged in talks, but a deal there isn't imminent. He also said that the Pistons are talking to "several other teams" about a possible deal for the two-time All-Star and perennial NBA rebounding leader. Additionally, Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reported that the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors have also expressed interest in Drummond.
Drummond is having a monster year statistically, averaging a career-high in points and steals, and close to a career-high in rebounds per game while shooting 54 percent from the field. He's also showcased an advanced offensive skillset when All-Star Blake Griffin has intermittently missed time this season.
So why would Detroit look to trade him? First, they appear to be going nowhere. Injuries have ravaged the team's already slim hopes of making significant noise in the top-heavy Eastern Conference, and Pistons owner Tom Gores said their lack of success hasleading up to the Feb. 6 trade deadline. Further, Drummond holds a $28.8 million player option for the final season of his contract in 2020-21. The prevailing belief is that Drummond will opt out of that deal and look to secure more annual salary or a longer-term deal -- or both. Either way, if the Pistons keep him this season, they risk losing him for nothing this summer.
Here is a look at a few teams who could be in the running to complete a deal for Drummond, starting with the aforementioned Hawks, Celtics, Mavericks and Raptors.
Why Drummond makes sense: The Hawks are reeling with the NBA's worst record, and a "high-ranking team official" John Collins returned from his suspension and has put up solid numbers, but that hasn't turned around Atlanta's consistent losing. So it makes sense that they're looking toward Drummond as a 6-foot-10 life raft.that they would get him more help.
The Hawks have played a combination of Alex Len, Damian Jones and Bruno Fernando at center this season with bad results. Offensively, they're 23rd in the NBA in scoring around the basket, averaging 1.113 points per possession according to Synergy Sports Technology. On the defensive side, they're 21st in the league, allowing 1.19 points per possession around the basket, and their rebounding percentage is 29th in the NBA, according to NBA.com.
Drummond clearly fills those holes as a finisher, a defensive rim protector and an elite rebounder. At 26 years old, Drummond also relatively matches the timeline for Young, Collins and the rest of the Hawks' young nucleus. Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports also reports that Drummond and Young are close friends, which could be relevant in Atlanta's attempt to keep their franchise guard happy.
Trade assets: Chandler Parsons ($25.1M, expiring), Evan Turner ($18.6M, expiring), Allen Crabbe ($18.5M, expiring), Jabari Parker, Cam Reddish, Damian Jones, Kevin Huerter, Bruno Fernando, 2020 first-round draft pick, 2020 protected first-round draft pick (via Brooklyn), 2022 protected first-round draft pick (via Oklahoma City).
Why Drummond makes sense: When everyone is healthy, the Celtics are currently playing Marcus Smart as their crunch-time center. While this might be fun and effective in the regular season, it's hard to imagine that being a sustainable strategy in the playoffs against some of the East's best rim-scorers like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Joel Embiid, Bam Adebayo and Domantas Sabonis. Therefore adding a center of Drummond's size and capabilities to bolster their rotation makes total sense.
The problem is, they need to match Drummond's salary. In order to do that, they'll need to involve one or more of Kemba Walker, Gordon Hayward, Smart, Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown in the deal, unless they trade away half of their roster. The more likely scenario would be involving a third team, with the Celtics using one of their more enticing draft assets to sweeten the deal for the Pistons.
Trade assets: Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, Daniel Theis, Robert Williams III, 2020 protected first-round draft pick (via Memphis, becomes unprotected in 2021), 2020 protected first-round draft pick (via Milwaukee), All of Boston's future first-round draft picks, starting in 2020.
Why Drummond makes sense: As Mavs coach Rick Carlisle will quickly explain to you, Kristaps Porzingis is not a post player. He's been much more effective as a popper and floor spacer, which has obviously led to success for the Mavs, but has also left room for a roller/rim-runner in Dallas. Luka Doncic has helped make players like Dwight Powell (1.203 points per possession) and Maxi Kleber (1.439) effective as roll men, so imagine what he could do with a player like Drummond.
Drummond would also help solidify the middle of the Mavericks defense alongside Porzingis, who has been excellent in that regard this season. The deal might not be as enticing to the Pistons, however, as the Mavericks owe their 2021 and 2023 first-round draft picks to the Knicks because of the Porzingis trade.
Why Drummond makes sense: Toronto has struck gold with Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka in the middle, but both of them are on expiring contracts this season. The Raptors are still in the thick of the Eastern Conference race, so they're not likely to sell off Gasol and Ibaka solely for future assets -- they'd need a win-now player in return. Drummond fits the bill and would give the Raptors a 26-year-old center to form the future core of the franchise alongside Pascal Siakam and possibly Fred VanVleet.
The Raptors have interesting young players and draft capital to make a deal work along with one of either Gasol or Ibaka.
Trade assets: Marc Gasol ($25.6M, expiring), Serge Ibaka ($23.3M, expiring), Fred VanVleet ($9.3M, expiring), Kyle Lowry, Norman Powell, OG Anunoby, Chris Boucher, All Raptors future first-round draft picks, starting in 2020.
Why Drummond makes sense: The Wizards pulled off a miracle by getting Bradley Beal to sign an extension in Washington before the start of this season, but now it's their job to keep him there. His current core of young teammates is less than exciting, with Rui Hachimura the only player looking like a possible future All-Star -- and that could be a stretch. If John Wall is even close to his old self when he eventually returns, Drummond could be the perfect running mate for the Wizards' potentially dynamic backcourt. Washington is on pace to have by far the worst defensive rating in the NBA since the 1973-74 season, according to Basketball Reference, and they're also dead last in the NBA in rebounding percentage -- so Drummond would fill obvious needs there.
More than the production, however, this would be a move to give Wizards fans hope. They could sell their fan base on a potential "big three" of Beal, Wall and Drummond with emerging players like Davis Bertans, Troy Brown, Hachimura and Thomas Bryant filling in the blanks. It would be a lot better than what they have now, that's for sure.
Why Drummond makes sense: The Hornets have been better than some expected this season, but they're clearly still a long way from contention with their current roster. With the emergence of Devonte' Graham and PJ Washington, the Hornets could convince themselves that adding Drummond to replace the center platoon of Cody Zeller and Bismack Biyombo would be a big enough upgrade to put them back into playoff contention almost immediately. The Hornets have plenty of expiring contracts, young assets and draft capital to get a deal done if they think it's worth their while.
Charlotte is 28th in the NBA in rebound percentage and 27th in defense, so it's not hard to see why a Drummond deal would be appealing.
Trade assets: Bismack Biyombo ($17M, expiring), Marvin Williams ($15M, expiring), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist ($13M, expiring), Cody Zeller, Malik Monk, Miles Bridges, Cody Martin, All of Charlotte's future first-round picks, starting in 2020.
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