5 Trades for Drummond: Trade talks for Andre Drummond first started when Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted about the Hawks being engaging in conversation for Drummond. Any team that gets Drummond is likely getting a rental with the big man expected to decline his player option in order to become a free agent after the season. The Pistons aren’t going to be competitive this season, and are likely just trying to get what they can out of Drummond. With that in mind, here are five projected trades for the Pistons center.
5. Atlanta Hawks:
Hawks Trade: Kevin Huerter, Chandler Parson, 2020 Brooklyn First-round pick
Pistons Trade: Andre Drummond
As it stands right now, the Hawks are 8-29 with the worst record in the NBA. Realistically, they’ll need to be 27-18 or better the rest of the season if they want a chance at making the playoffs. Thirty-five wins may be enough to earn the eighth seed in the East. However, should they even push for a playoff spot where they’ll likely lose in four to Milwaukee or someone else? It doesn’t seem logical to me. However, according to Woj, the Hawks have an interest.
Damian Jones, Alex Len, and Bruno Fernando have all started games at center for Atlanta this season, but none has been very useful. The Hawks are grabbing just 42.2 rebounds per game, which is 29th in the NBA, so getting Drummond, who has led the NBA in rebounds the past three seasons, would help them. However, he likely wouldn’t re-sign next season, and Atlanta has a tough road ahead towards making the playoffs. Trading young assets for a rental player doesn’t make sense for a team with no chance at making a playoff run.
Kevin Huerter is a solid 21-year-old shooter who is capable of creating his own shot. The Hawks will be extremely hesitant to get rid of rookie Cam Reddish, despite his struggles this season. The Pistons would need a solid young player, and Huerter fits the bill. Chandler Parsons and his horrible contract make the money aspect work. Atlanta owns Brooklyn’s 2020 first-round pick from the Taurean Prince deal, and the Pistons would likely want a mid-first round pick in this deal.
4. Charlotte Hornets
Pistons Trade: Andre Drummond, Derrick Rose
Hornets Trade: Nicolas Batum, PJ Washington, Cody Martin
On paper, the Charlotte Hornets were projected to be the worst team in the NBA coming into the season after they lost Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lamb. However, with Devonte’ Graham breaking out and other players stepping up, the Hornets have a chance at earning a low-end playoff spot in the East. They are currently 15-24, ninth in the East, and just two games behind Orlando for the eighth seed. Still, trading a young asset for a team that won’t make a deep playoff run doesn’t make a whole lot of sense with Drummond being a rental. Still, it’s more logical than in Atlanta’s case.
Bismack Biyombo and Cody Zeller are both below-average centers, and Drummond would be a significant upgrade at center. However, for Charlotte to give up PJ Washington, a rookie who’s shown promise this season, they’d need to get another contributor. Derrick Rose, Terry Rozier, and Devonte’ Graham would be an excellent trio in James Borrego’s backcourt. D-Rose would likely come off the bench as he’s been doing in Detroit. He’s also signed through next season, so the Hornets are guaranteed something for next year if Drummond doesn’t re-sign.
The big piece in this trade for Detroit is getting rookie PJ Washington. Washington has been solid this season, averaging 12.8 ppg and 5.2 on a low 17.9% usage rate. He’s 21 years old, and projects to be a solid two-way player. Nicolas Batum and his massive five-year 120M contract goes through next year. Batum will cost Detroit 27.1M next season, but the 2020 free agency class is underwhelming, and Detroit likely isn’t going to go after anyone great. Taking on Batum’s contract for next season shouldn’t be a deal-breaker. Cody Martin works as a second-round rookie who would be another young player on Detroit’s roster.
3. Orlando Magic:
Magic Trade: Mohamed Bamba, Al Farouq-Aminu, Terrence Ross, Wes Iwundu, 2020 Second Round pick
Pistons Trade: Andre Drummond, Langston Galloway, Khyri Thomas
As it stands, the Orlando Magic currently position themselves as the eighth seed in the East, despite an underwhelming record of 16-20. Orlando has already been snake-bitten by critical injuries. Nikola Vucevic missed 11 games earlier in the season, while power forward Jonathan Isaac is expected to be out two months with a knee injury. The need for additional rebounding is there. However, similarly to Charlotte and Atlanta, the Magic are not going to make a big playoff run. Trading an asset for Drummond, who may not re-sign, is very risky.
The Magic are around league-average, ranking 16th in the NBA in rebounds as a team. However, that number may take a hit with Isaac’s injury. Langston Galloway is, in many ways, a similar player to Terrence Ross, who will hit free agency after the season. Teaming Vucevic, Drummond, and Aaron Gordon with Evan Fournier and Markelle Fultz would give Orlando a size advantage. The biggest issue with the deal is that presumably either Gordon or Isaac will have to move to the bench once Jonathan Isaac gets healthy.
The key piece for the Pistons in this deal is getting 2018 6th overall Mohamed Bamba. Bamba came into the NBA with big expectations but has struggled, averaging only 6.0 ppg on just 16.0 mpg through 80 career games. Steve Clifford even favored Khem Birch as his starting center when Vucevic got hurt. However, with Drummond gone, Bamba would likely get a significant increase in minutes in Detroit. Al Farouq-Aminu and Terrence Ross help make the contracts of this deal work. Orlando would also be giving Detroit a second-round pick.
This trade alone actually leaves Orlando 6K over the salary. Swapping Wes Iwundu and Khyri Thomas, two irrelevant players, makes this trade work.
2. Boston Celtics:
Celtics Trade: Gordon Hayward, Romeo Langford, Carsen Edwards
Pistons Trade: Andre Drummond, Derrick Rose, Christian Wood
Boston and Dallas are the two most realistic landing spots for Drummond. While Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter have been fine, the Celtics are definitely in need of a better center if they want to make an NBA Finals. Plus, Drummond’s going to Boston means his rivalry with Joel Embiid will become even better to watch.
Brad Wanamaker has improved in his age 30 season, but Derrick Rose would the reliable scorer off the bench the Celtics need. While Enes Kanter is a strong rebounder, his defensive limitations will make it tough for Brad Stevens to play him in the playoffs, especially against an Embiid or a Giannis. Assuming Tacko Fall doesn’t suddenly become a freak-athlete, Andre Drummond makes a lot of sense for Boston. Christian Wood also adds another scoring option off the bench; he’s been much better than Grant Williams and Semi Ojeleye this season.
While Gordon Hayward has had some great games this season, his contract is tough to carry, and he’s continued to deal with injuries. Boston shouldn’t be too heart-broken trading him if it nets Drummond and Rose. Romeo Langford was the 14th pick in the 2019 draft but has appeared in just nine games so far this season. Offensively, his game is unpolished, but Langford’s looking solid with his on-ball defense. Even though he’s someone I’ve always said is not going to pan out, Carsen Edwards on paper has the potential to be a good scoring option. The sad part of this deal is that it would be a bummer for Hayward, who has worked hard to get back from the gruesome broken leg he suffered in 2017. But then again, Danny Ainge is ruthless when it comes to trading his players.
1. Dallas Mavericks
Mavericks Trade: Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Jalen Brunson, 2023 First Round Pick, 2020 Golden State Second Round Pick, 2020 Utah Second Round Pick, 2021 Dallas Second Round Pick
Pistons Trade: Andre Drummond, Langston Galloway, Tim Frazier
The Mavericks did not have a great offseason, but the team has improved significantly due to the return of Kristaps Porzingis, and the rise of Luka Doncic. This team is filled with bad contracts, which for once actually helps them in making a deal. This deal makes total sense, and getting Drummond would help out a lot.
Outside of their two best players, this team is thin. Tim Hardaway Jr., Seth Curry, and Jalen Brunson all have their nights while Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber are staunch defenders. However, getting a third key guy could allow the Mavericks to make a deep playoff run. With Drummond, Doncic, and KP, Dallas would dominate the glass. Langston Galloway is a solid shot-creator and would help minimize the loss of THJ. Additionally, Tim Frazier would be used for depth if Luka or backup, Delon Wright, ever went down. The deal also takes Hardaway Jr.’s 19M contract off the board for next season.
Unfortunately for the Pistons, due to the Stepien Rule, the Mavericks aren’t able to trade a first-round pick until 2025. Instead, Detroit receives three second-rounders, including the 2020 Golden State pick, which should be a high second-round pick. THJ is a very good scorer, but the best piece of this trade for Detroit is Jalen Brunson. The second-year point guard has shown flashes of being very good but hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in the shadow of Luka Doncic. Courtney Lee may be waived upon the completion of this trade; he justs makes the salaries match up. If the market isn’t playing out the way Detroit wants it to, they may pull the trigger on this trade.
5 Trades for Drummond: Blake Griffin is likely missing extended time, so Detroit should accept the rebuild and trade Andre Drummond. Boston and Dallas are two teams where a deal seems most realistic.
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