Andre Drummond Trade Rumors: 'Confidence' Pistons Find Deal Before Deadline

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2020

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 05: Andre Drummond #0 of the Detroit Pistons plays the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 5, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Lakers won 106-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)
John McCoy/Getty Images

As the Detroit Pistons shop Andre Drummond around the NBA, the New York Times' Marc Stein spoke to a source who "expressed confidence" the star center will be moved before the Feb. 6 trade deadline.

Drummond can opt out his contract this summer and become an unrestricted free agent. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Friday the Pistons were "escalating discussions" with teams interested in acquiring the 26-year-old.

Wojnarowski added the Atlanta Hawks had thrown around a possible trade package that included the Brooklyn Nets' 2020 first-round pick and expiring contracts to make the salary numbers work.

Dealing Drummond would make sense for Detroit. He's averaging 17.4 points and a league-high 15.9 rebounds, which will almost certainly earn him his third trip to the All-Star Game.

The Pistons are 13-24 and 11th in the Eastern Conference, and a surge up the standings in the coming weeks is unlikely. The team announced Blake Griffin underwent knee surgery and is out indefinitely.

The 2012 first-round pick out of UConn brings a level of consistency and durability—eight missed games over the previous six seasons combined—that make him an attractive asset for a team with playoff ambitions.

His contract and positional limitations could hinder the Pistons' return in a trade, though.

The 6'10", 279-pounder is a traditional center who doesn't fit anywhere else on the floor, which can be a problem in a seven-game postseason series. It's too easy to exploit centers away from the basket when coaches have more time to draw up a game plan.

And opposing general managers might be wary of adding a player who could command a max contract in the offseason. Sinking that kind of money into Drummond may not be the best use of cap space.

If the Pistons have resigned themselves to trading Drummond, it shouldn't be too difficult. The question is how hard Detroit will bargain before making an agreement.