When the Detroit Pistons made Andre Drummond officially available on the trading block, the initial belief was that he would be sent to a team that is a dire need of a frontcourt boost to compete for a championship this season. However, hours before Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline, the big man found himself being traded to one of the worst teams in the Eastern Conference, the Cleveland Cavaliers. According to ESPN, Detroit traded Drummond to the Cavaliers for the expiring contracts of John Henson and Brandon Knight and a 2023 second-round pick.
The deal seems like a head-scratcher, especially for Pistons fans who are at least hoping that they could get a huge haul for the All-Star center. After learning that he would be spending the remainder of the 2019-20 season with Cleveland, Drummond couldn’t help himself but express his disappointment with his old team. In a Twitter post, Drummond revealed that he was caught off-guard by the trade, suggesting that it’s hard to trust one’s “friends” or team officials in the NBA.
“If there’s one thing I learned about the NBA, there’s no friends or loyalty. I’ve given my heart and soul to the Pistons, and to be have this happen with no heads up makes me realize even more that this is just a business! I love you Detroit.”
It’s easy to understand why Drummond felt that way. It was not too long ago when he was still considered as the man that would lead the Pistons back to championship contention and end their years of title drought. Though they allegedly did him wrong by not informing in advance about the deal, trading Drummond might actually be the best move for the Pistons, who rank 10th in the Eastern Conference with a 19-34 record.
Instead of settling for mediocrity, the Pistons may be better off tearing down their current roster and undergoing a full-scale rebuild. With Drummond gone, it won’t be a surprise if Detroit eventually decides to move their other All-Star big man, Blake Griffin, in the summer of 2020.
As of now, it remains unknown what the Cavaliers are planning to do with Drummond. Compared to the Pistons, Cleveland’s situation is worse. So far, they have lost nine of their last 10 games, sitting in the No. 15 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 13-39 record. Though Drummond’s arrival allowed the Cavs to drastically improve their frontcourt rotation, it likely won’t be enough to bring them back to the playoff race.