One source said talks between the Pistons and Hawks began around Christmas. As The Athletic’s Sam Amick recently reported, Atlanta and Detroit would have already completed a deal for Drummond had the Hawks been willing to throw in a first-round pick. The initial deal consisted of only expiring contracts. Teams aren’t offering first-round picks right now.
On the surface, Detroit could look like it loses any trade that just involves expiring contracts, but the prospect of securing that much salary-cap space may turn into a win in the long run. This is why Drummond trade rumors could drag out until closer to the Feb. 6 deadline before a deal ultimately gets done.