It doesn't make sense for New York, or any other non-contender, to target the two-time All-Star given his contract situation.
Drummond is in the final guaranteed season of a five-year, $127.2 million contract, which includes a $27.1 million cap hit for the 2019-20 campaign. He holds a player option for next season with a $28.8 million base salary but is expected to opt out and test free agency, per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes.
The 26-year-old UConn product will be one of the top players available on the open market, which is projected to feature far less star power than the 2019 free-agent class. So it makes sense for him to at least survey what type of offers are sent his way.
In turn, the talent-starved Knicks, whose playoff hopes are already near extinction with an 11-31 record, can't afford to give up cherished assets without some type of guarantee he'd remain with the organization beyond the end of the regular season in April.
For his part, Drummond said in early January he wanted to remain with the Pistons for the long haul.
"I'm not a quitter, for one," he told reporters. "I was never brought up to be a quitter. If I start somewhere, I try to finish there, try to complete the mission, which is to win a championship here. It will never be me that wants to go anywhere ... I love being here. I would love to play here the rest of my career."
The Knicks will likely emerge as an interested suitor over the summer as they seek more high-end talent to surround a developing core led by rookie RJ Barrett. New York is also on pace to land another top-five draft pick, which would help the rebuilding process.
Barrett, Drummond and a guard prospect like Anthony Edwards or LaMelo Ball could finally put the Knicks back on the road toward contention in the Eastern Conference.
Any type of Drummond acquisition must have a long-term payoff, however, and it doesn't sound like making a trade for him before next month's deadline would come with that guarantee.