The Detroit Pistons are reportedly in heavy talks to ship Andre Drummond out of town.
ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that the Pistons are in talks with the Atlanta Hawks regarding their star center. While no deal appears to be imminent, it shows that the Pistons appear motivated to ship Drummond.
As Sports Illustrated noted, Drummond is leading the league this year with 15.8 rebounds per game to go along with 17.6 points and 2.7 assists. Drummond has been the league’s best rebounder for three of the last four years, and is on track to add another title this season if he can stay healthy.
As the report added, Drummond is on an expiring contract, and the Pistons appear willing to trade him before he hits free agency and while he still has some value. Drummond has a $28 million player option for next season, but is not likely to exercise it, Sports Illustrated added.
Pistons owner Tom Gores told the Detroit Free Press that the team is looking to build a contender and may have to rely on its younger players. The Pistons sit at 12-23 and are in 12th in the Eastern Conference, but could climb into a playoff spot with a run in the second half. The Pistons are currently 3.5 games out of the eighth and final spot.
“We probably have to take some chances with some of the young guys, but absolutely,” Gores said. “That’s what we’re aspiring to — something bigger than what we’ve been doing, but I haven’t lost faith in what (Pistons coach Dwane Casey) is doing and how we’re developing the players and our future.”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 3, 2020
Drummond has been a target for trade rumors for several weeks now. As The Inquisitr reported, there was speculation last month that the Pistons could pull the trigger on a trade sending the star center to the Dallas Mavericks. The report noted that the Mavericks are looking for a more physical presence alongside 7-footer Kristaps Porzingis, and that Drummond would fit the bill.
Wherever Drummond might go, it will likely be a team willing to accept him as a one-year rental, meaning a team already positioned to make the playoffs and in need of a rim-protecting center to put them over the top as a contender. With the contract limitations on Drummond, it’s not clear what the Pistons may be able to receive in return, but the team certainly appears willing to ship him if the offer is right.