As the Detroit Pistons continue to struggle in the 2019-20 NBA season, rumors have started to swirl around All-Star center Andre Drummond who is expected to be one of the hottest commodities on the trade market before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. Once the Pistons officially make him available on the trading block, several NBA teams who are in dire need of a frontcourt boost would likely express a strong interest in adding Drummond to their roster, including rebuilding the Charlotte Hornets.
The Hornets may be at the bottom of the Eastern Conference right now, but they are currently one of the most exciting teams in the league, thanks to their young and talented core of PJ Washington, Miles Bridges, Terry Rozier, and Devonte Graham. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes that adding a player of Drummond’s caliber to the Hornets’ collection of “high-ceiling prospects” could make them a team to watch out for in the Eastern Conference in the near future.
“While the standings might paint relocating from Detroit to Charlotte as a lateral move, the Hornets are quietly collecting the kind of high-ceiling prospects that give them a much brighter outlook. P.J. Washington has sprinted out of the gate, Miles Bridges is making his sophomore leap and Devonte’ Graham is suddenly on a short list of Most Improved Player candidates. Absent from that group—or Charlotte’s roster altogether—is a difference-making big man of Drummond’s caliber. He’s the best rebounder in the business, a powerful above-the-rim finisher, a disruptive defender and an improved passer and free-throw shooter.”
Drummond may not be a floor-spacing big man but he could tremendously boost the Hornets’ performance on both ends of the floor. This season, the 26-year-old center is posting incredible numbers, averaging 17.8 points, 16.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.6 steals while shooting 54.3 percent from the field. The arrival of Drummond won’t make the Hornets an instant title contender but they have a strong chance of becoming one, especially if he, Washington, Graham, Bridges, and Rozier grow together and build good chemistry.
To acquire Drummond, Buckley suggested that the Hornets could offer a trade package including Malik Monk, Marvin Williams, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, and a lottery-protected 2020 first-round pick to the Pistons. Though they continue to insist that they have no intention of trading Drummond, Buckley believes the Pistons should think twice before passing on the deal, especially knowing that the All-Star big man is planning to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. If the Pistons wouldn’t get an assurance that he will re-sign, they are better off moving him before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline than risk losing him in the 2020 NBA free agency without getting anything in return.