Andre Drummond Trade Rumors: Hawks Could've Landed Pistons C with 1st-Round Pick

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2020

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

The Atlanta Hawks are reportedly aware of what it will take to acquire center Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons.

According to Sam Amick of The Athletic, the Hawks "could have landed Drummond already if they were willing to include a first-round pick in the deal." Amick noted the deal was unlikely to happen, however.

The Hawks are unlikely to include their own 2020 first-round pick since they have the NBA's worst record at 8-30, but they will land the Brooklyn Nets' 2020 first-rounder if the Nets make the playoffs, which is likely since they are currently three games up on the Charlotte Hornets for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported last week that the Hawks are one of several teams the Pistons have spoken to about Drummond. He added that the Nets' 2020 first-rounder and expiring contracts have been discussed as part of a potential deal as well.

Per Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports, the Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors have shown interest in Drummond as well. Amick noted that the Celtics and Mavs are two contending teams known to be in the market for a big man.

The Hawks are in a difficult spot with regard to Drummond since trading for him could be an all-or-nothing venture. Drummond can become a free agent at the end of the season if he declines his player option for 2020-21, meaning any team that acquires him may only get him for the remainder of this season.

That wouldn't do Atlanta any good since it is already out of playoff contention. If it can get an assurance that Drummond will either opt in or sign an extension, however, he could be precisely what the Hawks need to get back on track.

Drummond is averaging career highs this season with 17.8 points and 16.2 rebounds, which has him on track to be named to the All-Star team for the third time in his career. He is also trending toward leading the NBA in rebounding for the fourth consecutive year and fifth time overall.

Atlanta is lacking a dominant interior presence, and Drummond's skill set would likely mesh well with second-year guard Trae Young, who is likely to be named an All-Star for the first time this year.

Young is averaging 29.2 points and 8.5 assists per game, plus forward John Collins is averaging 17.9 points and 9.7 rebounds, and rookie wing De'Andre Hunter and second-year guard Kevin Huerter are showing the potential to be complementary pieces as well.

If the Hawks can add Drummond and a top pick in the 2020 NBA draft to that core, then they should be able to become playoff contenders in the near future, considering how weak the Eastern Conference is beyond the top six teams.

Detroit is 3.5 games out of a playoff spot and playing without injured star forward Blake Griffin, and if it is unable or unwilling to re-sign Drummond, it has every reason to trade him for assets that can aid in the rebuilding of the roster moving forward.