Andre Drummond Traded to Cavs from Pistons for Brandon Knight, More

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2020

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond (0) plays against the Indiana Pacers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Friday, Nov. 8, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Detroit Pistons have decided to build toward the future by trading Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

The Pistons will acquire Brandon Knight, John Henson and a 2023 second-round pick in exchange for Drummond, the team announced Thursday. 

Initially, there was uncertainty about whether Pistons owner Tom Gores would sign off on a trade involving Drummond. 

Gores told reporters in October that keeping the 26-year-old center was a priority for the organization.

"We know how dedicated we are to each other," he said. "I've said it many times: He's very underrated in a lot of ways for what he does, and culturally he's been so good for this team, just in terms of his attitude, and just watching him really grow up. I met him when he was 18."

Drummond is in the final guaranteed year of his contract, which includes a $28.8 million player option for 2020-21. He seemed to indicate in an exchange with a reporter last summer that he would test free agency after this season.  

The Pistons were in a precarious position with their roster before dealing Drummond. Their 19-34 record ranks 10th in the Eastern Conference.

Blake Griffin, who is owed $36.6 million next season with a $38.96 million player option for 2021-22, continues to have knee issues and had another surgery on Jan. 7 that could end his season. 

Given the issues with Griffin, dealing Drummond is the easiest way for the Pistons to accrue future assets that can help them become a consistent playoff contender in the East. He's a dominant post presence, averaging 17.8 points per game to go along with 15.8 rebounds.

The Cavs' decision to trade for Drummond is odd on the surface but justifiable given the almost complete lack of opportunity cost. Neither Knight nor Henson are above-average NBA role players, and the second-round pick is an asset that can always be recouped at a later date.

Drummond has his flaws in the modern NBA, but he's one of the league's best rebounders. The Cavs will also have Bird rights for a potential sign-and-trade if Drummond opts out this summer and wants to head elsewhere.     

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