Portland Trail Blazers trade rumors have linked the team to big men for most of the 2016-17 NBA season. The front office even made an offer to the Miami Heat for All-Star center Hassan Whiteside. Now, there might be a way to add a starting center who could be the key to improvement on defense, as the Detroit Pistons are actively shopping Andre Drummond around the league.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Pistons have been trying to gauge the trade market for Drummond and point guard Reggie Jackson. This could be an opportunity for Portland to step in and make an offer that would be nearly impossible for the Pistons to turn down. With the new assets that the team possesses, it might even be possible to retain Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. A reason for this action by the front office in Detroit is that the Pistons have stumbled in the NBA standings this year.
The Pistons are very close to making the 2017 NBA Playoffs as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference. The problem with that is it would guarantee a first-round series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. If the front office for Detroit and coach Stan Van Gundy don’t have confidence in the Pistons beating the Cavs, then it might just be a wasted opportunity. The team might instead have a good shot to move Drummond and Jackson before the NBA trade deadline in order to capitalize on teams looking to make a huge splash.
So what would Andre Drummond bring to the table for the Portland Trail Blazers? During the 2016-17 NBA season, Drummond is averaging 14.7 points, 13.9 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game. This will soon become the fourth consecutive season where the All-Star center has averaged a double-double for the Pistons. He is certainly an expensive option, earning more than $22 million a year through the 2019-20 NBA season, but with that salary comes a rim protector who ranks among the best in the entire league.
If the front office in Portland is keen on improving the roster with a guaranteed player, rather than hoping a prospect works out through the draft, then this is where the team needs to start working the phones. The Blazers have some very good assets that could be used in a deal, including three first-round picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Blazers own their selection, that of the Memphis Grizzlies, and also the first-round pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Packaging the three picks could present Detroit with an offer that would almost be impossible to pass up.
Detroit still retains its own selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, which could soon be a lottery pick if the team deals Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson before the trade deadline. Four first-round selections, or possibly five if the team deals Jackson for another pick, would certainly aid the Pistons in going through a quick rebuilding process. The only remaining question would be which veteran players the Blazers would need to include in order to match the salary that Drummond will make over the remainder of the 2016-17 NBA season.
This is a tricky situation for the Blazers, as giving up three first-round picks would mean that the team has very little room left to maneuver before the 2017-18 NBA season. Having a core of Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, and Andre Drummond might be a good reason to do it. It would give the Blazers two guards who can score at will and a low post player who is not only adept at pick-and-roll plays but one who is among the best in both offensive and defensive rebounding.
The NBA trade deadline falls on February 23 this year, giving the teams a lot of time to work something out if there is mutual interest. While other Portland Trail Blazers trade rumors float around the league, including the team actively working to acquire more draft picks of their own, the opportunity to deal for a player like Andre Drummond doesn’t come along every day.
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