NBA rumors: Andre Drummond still the Cavs starting center

Altman received a text message from Drummond on Wednesday, with the burly center congratulating the GM on a great trade. With a relationship that goes back to when Drummond was 16 years old playing for Team USA, the two spoke again the next morning. Altman’s message: Stay locked in, keep the same enthusiasm, play like an All-Star and help Allen get acclimated. Altman also informed Drummond that his short-term role wouldn’t be changing. It’s his starting center spot. He earned it.

More on Andre Drummond Trade?

A little more than 24 hours after the Cavs traded for Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen, in the face of noisy gossip about what Allen’s arrival means for Drummond and how an early exit is now imminent, the two-time All-Star showed why the front office should pause before sending him away. Even with up-and-coming Allen, who fits this roster and style perfectly, Drummond wouldn’t be easy to replace.
Instead of sulking with his successor standing on the sidelines in street clothes, Drummond gave everyone -- Cleveland’s front office, Bickerstaff, the rest of the NBA -- something to think about, even if he didn’t enter the night specifically looking to prove a point. “I play the same way each and every night,” Drummond said. “The trade, it is what it is. There’s nothing I can do about that. If I do get traded, I don’t control that either. I’m just here to play basketball with whatever jersey I have on. That’s all I can focus on right now.”
Bickerstaff also hears the trade chatter. He’s talked with Drummond about it. “The optics are obvious,” Bickerstaff admitted. “But Dre and I have developed a great relationship up to this point. It’s a relationship that’s built on trust and honesty.” Drummond was asked about his reaction to the deal. He used the term “happy,” calling Allen and Prince “very, very good players.” And he backed up those words.
“The reason I’m having so much fun is I’m in a new environment, I’m in a new city and I love the guys that are here,” Drummond said. “It’s hard not to play hard here, having 12 guys that want to give it their all each and every night. It makes it fun to be out there.” Before the front office takes the next (logical) step toward unclogging the frontcourt by moving either Drummond or cheaper veteran JaVale McGee, who is also on an expiring contract and will garner interest, it’s worth considering how that would affect the team’s chances of staying competitive.
Multiple Eastern Conference executives believe the writing is on the wall for Drummond’s future in Cleveland after the team gave up a first-round pick to acquire Allen, who is five years younger. Drummond will become an unrestricted free agent after the season. “Drummond is definitely out of Cleveland,” one Eastern Conference executive predicted. “Cleveland wouldn’t give up a first if they didn’t want Allen long-term.”
One of the moves they could be targeting to improve their chances of doing so is swapping center Andre Drummond for Gordon Hayward with the Boston Celtics. “Something I’ve been hearing across the league the last few days is while we don’t know how the Gordon Hayward situation is going to shake out, something that could be possible is a Gordon Hayward-Andre Drummond swap,” Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated said during NBC Sports Boston’s draft special. “That’s something that a lot of league execs I’ve been talking to have discussed.”
Shams Charania: Pistons trading Andre Drummond to Cavaliers, league sources tell @The Athletic @Stadium.
Rod Beard: A sign-and-trade for #Pistons Andre Drummond is a small possibility, but not likely because he hasn't opted-in. Another team wouldn't have to trade for him in the summer because the #Pistons wouldn't have his rights.
He was asked afterward if the possibility of this being his last game with the Pistons had crossed his mind. "I've been hearing that for the past four years," he said. "It don't faze me."
The only problem with that notion is that on top of draft capital, the Pistons are reported as wanting an expiring contract in exchange for Drummond, since they’d prefer to rid their books of bad money to make their impending rebuild a bit easier. That’s a rather pricey haul for a player with so many question marks. Another Eastern Conference executive told HoopsHype: “Drummond just hasn’t won and I think teams would be somewhat cautious in adding him. […] I just think it will be a small-market team for him. I would think a good player/players and a first-round pick would be the asking price for Drummond.”
Meanwhile, a third league executive had this to say about a potential haul for Drummond: “As for picks, the return for Andre Drummond will probably be closer to one first-round pick – if I had to guess.”
Regardless, the Celtics have been pleased with the production from the center position and do not appear to be urgently looking to upgrade it. League sources said the Pistons reached out to the Celtics last month to gauge their potential interest in Andre Drummond, too. But Daniel Theis and Enes Kanter have combined to average 17.6 points, 14.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.3 blocks in 41.1 minutes per game, and no assets need to be relinquished to keep them.
The Pistons continue to be ready to move off of Andre Drummond, as Detroit begins (another) rebuild. Interest in Drummond, as you might imagine, has been downright cool. His $27 million salary is a problem, as is a growing feeling that Drummond could opt into a nearly $29 million salary next season. As strong a rebounder as Drummond is—and Detroit’s guards make him look infinitely worse on the perimeter than he can be—there are concerns among some executives about his passion for the game. That’s unnerving. Reggie Jackson can be had if a team is willing to surrender an asset for an injury plagued player in the final year of his contract.
Shams Charania on Andre Drummond: “I think there’s a pretty stagnant market for him. We’ve heard about Atlanta. I think the Knicks have thrown around a couple packages that would include maybe a young player, but there’s nothing really exciting. Detroit really has to determine if they’re going to trade Andre Drummond just to say, ‘We traded him,’ and really get back nothing that makes sense long-term or do they just keep him and ride it out into the summer? I haven’t gotten the sense that there’s a re-engaged market for Drummond at this point, but these are all fluid situations leading up to Thursday.”
The Pistons have still been trying to trade All-Star Andre Drummond but, according to a league source, the Knicks were not engaging as recently as last week. The Pistons, according to a source, are looking for a return of expiring contracts and a young prospect or draft asset. In other words, they’re ready for a rebuild. Although Drummond is an All-Star caliber player, the big issue is he’ll become an unrestricted free agent after the season and a rental doesn’t make sense this season.
Still, Drummond wants to stay in Detroit and help the Pistons get back to the championship level they've reached three times before. He told ESPN earlier this season that his goal was to be in Detroit "the rest of my career." He reiterated that stance the day after news of trade talks with the Atlanta Hawks broke.
Less than two weeks from the trade deadline, the Pistons’ market on center Andre Drummond seems to be stagnant. Three teams that have inquired with the Pistons — Atlanta, New York and Boston — are believed to be bypassing further pursuit, sources said. The Pistons’ asking price of a first-round draft pick or a quality young player has not yielded a quality offer yet, according to sources.
The Hawks were close to a deal that would have sent Chandler Parsons and the Nets’ 2020 first-round pick to Detroit for Drummond, but Atlanta was unwilling to add the pick because Drummond’s contract extension demands are currently too high, according to multiple league sources.
Drummond has a for-sale sign tattooed to his jersey, with the Pistons reportedly canvassing the league for offers. Atlanta was mentioned early, but there is a league-wide feeling that was more ownership driven, with Hawks owner Tony Ressler known to be frustrated by Atlanta’s poor play this season. Other teams have kicked the tires on Drummond, but there has been no traction on a deal to this point, a league source told SI.com.
Which bring us to on-the-block Pistons center Andre Drummond, the Mount Vernon, N.Y., native who, according to a Yahoo Sports report Thursday, plans to opt out of the $28 million final year of his contract this summer to become a free agent in a lackluster class. That should lessen other teams’ desire to trade for Drummond at the Feb. 6 deadline. According to an NBA source, the Knicks have no interest in a trade despite a report the Pistons approached them about a deal — and it makes absolutely no sense to give up pawns for Drummond if he’s opting out. But it will also make no sense if the Knicks don’t go after Drummond this July, even if they possess a young 7-foot-1 center they think can develop into something special.
The Atlanta Hawks are no longer engaging with the Detroit Pistons on a trade that would have landed them All-Star big man Andre Drummond, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Both sides were optimistic weeks ago that a deal would eventually be ironed out to pair rising star Trae Young with another top-tier talent.
But Atlanta is seeking to remain patient, knowing there will be options to improve via the draft and during free agency, sources said. In the deal for Drummond that has been nixed, Detroit would have received Damian Jones, Chandler Parsons or Allen Crabbe (who was dealt to Minnesota on Thursday) and a first-round pick, sources said.
Drummond is expected to decline his $28.8 million player option for the 2020-21 season in order to test free-agency this summer, sources said. Detroit is still actively fielding calls on Drummond, sources said. [...] If the Hawks don’t address their center need by the Feb. 6 trade deadline, Drummond is expected to be one of their top targets in free agency, sources said.
Though speculation may continue until a deal is finalized, Casey stated that his focus and his team’s focus is on the job they have to complete on the floor. “Andre is a professional," he said. "We talk to players all the time about being pros, approaching the game.”
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.
Per league sources, Detroit has been actively shopping Drummond for some time. 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.
SiriusXM NBA Radio: The trade rumors are swirling around Andre Drummond. Pistons Adviser Ed Stefanski tells @TheFrankIsola & @bwood_33 that the big man likes being in Detroit #DetroitBasketball
The expectation is that Drummond will be traded as the Pistons look to move on to the next chapter and officially start to rebuild. “We probably have to take some chances with some of the young guys, but absolutely,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said Jan. 2. “That’s what we’re aspiring to — something bigger than what we’ve been doing, but I haven’t lost faith in what (Pistons coach Dwane Casey) is doing and how we’re developing the players and our future.” But in talking to league insiders for the past two weeks, parting with Drummond is tougher than it sounds. I checked Saturday morning with a league source familiar with the Knicks’ front office thinking and was told, “there’s nothing there.”
How a Drummond acquisition would impact second-year center Mitchell Robinson is unclear. Robinson is certainly coveted by many teams around the league and would bring immense value to any Knicks trade. It doesn't seem as if Drummond and Robinson would fit on the same roster.
Stadium: "One team, I'm told, that has made an inquiry (on Andre Drummond) are the Knicks." NBA Insider @ShamsCharania shares an update on the Pistons center.

https://twitter.com/Stadium/status/1215774066986143746
Ian Begley: Knicks have talked to Pistons about Andre Drummond trade, SNY source confirms. First reported by Stafium.
Detroit is still sussing out the market for Drummond, sources say. His potential availability presents interesting dilemmas for suitors. It's easy to get perhaps too low on Drummond. He's an old-fashioned brutish center valuable on defense only when he goes full throttle, and even then he isn't near the class of Rudy Gobert and Joel Embiid.
Yet while Detroit’s talks with Atlanta regarding Drummond were revealed by ESPN last week, a source with knowledge of the talks downplayed the prospect of that deal happening. While Atlanta’s brutal season (8-30) has added significant pressure to bolster the roster and give young star Trae Young more help, the Hawks, per a second source, could have landed Drummond already if they were willing to include a first-round pick in the deal. Boston and Dallas, it’s worth noting here at the top, are known to be looking for a big.
Sirius XM NBA: Andre Drummond is rumored to be on the block, but where could he land? @Amin Elhassan says there's one place that would be a perfect fit. pic.twitter.com/67gJzGjs2g

http://twitter.com/SiriusXMNBA/status/1214989720079523841
Who are the Top 5 most likely landing spots for Andre Drummond? James Edwards: Atlanta, Dallas (who could use a physical big man next to Porzingis and him and Porzingis are friends), Toronto (I've heard Masai has liked him for a long time and obviously, Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka are both expiring contracts; him and Kyle Lowry are friends), people say Boston, just because they think they need the center, but I don't see that one working.
Do the Warriors sneak into the Top 5 for Andre Drummond then? James Edwards: That might be a good five but again... [the Warriors] just never pay that much for centers and Andre - part of this is money and he wants to get paid.
Drummond, who has spent his entire eight-year career with the organization, did not hesitate when asked why he would like to stay in Detroit. "I'm not a quitter, for one," Drummond said after scoring 14 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in Saturday's 111-104 win over the Golden State Warriors. "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."
"I've been dealing with this since the year I signed my contract so the trade rumors will always come around, so this is another year for me," Drummond said. "It's always that time of year around January where trade talks come. Nothing's happened. Obviously, the talks have started, so these questions will start to come. I've been looking forward to them coming, but for me, I'm just going to continue to play the game I play, play here in Detroit where I love to be, and whatever happens, happens."
While discussing the conversation, Drummond said he did not get the sense any deal was "imminent." "It wasn't really much to talk about," Drummond said. "He just said it's that time of the year again. It's nothing that's imminent. It's not like they're going to move me tomorrow. Obviously, they're listening. But I think I'm where I'm at."
James Edwards III: Dwane Casey said he has talked to Drummond since the news came out. Obviously he didn't go into detail, but he said if you're doing what you're supposed to, there will always be interest and people calling.
The Detroit Pistons are in talks about a trade that would send star center Andre Drummond to the Atlanta Hawks, according to multiple persons with knowledge of the situation. The potential deal could bring the Pistons expiring contracts and a protected 2020 first-round pick, according to sources, who spoke to the Free Press on condition of anonymity.
The sources indicated that deals seem to be in the exploratory stages, but ahead of the Feb. 6 trade deadline, the Pistons look to be doing their due diligence to try and get something for Drummond, who can opt-out of his contract after this season.
Brad Townsend: High-ranking Mavs official told me 2 weeks ago that Drummond makes no sense for them. Hard for me to believe he suddenly makes sense now.
The Hawks have discussed sending a package that includes a 2020 first-round pick via the Brooklyn Nets and the salary-cap relief of expiring contracts for Detroit, league sources said. A potential deal would include other assets. There's an increasing belief inside and outside the Pistons organization that a Drummond deal is growing in likelihood prior to the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline, league sources said.
Detroit is preparing for Drummond, 26, to decline his $29 million option on the 2020-21 season and become a free agent, league sources said. Pistons owner Tom Gores has long been a strong advocate of Drummond's, but there's an increased movement in the organization to use Drummond as a trade asset to begin creating some salary-cap flexibility for the future, league sources said.
While the Pistons are accelerating their efforts to gauge the Drummond market, he has been on the trade radar for much of the year. In November, Heavy.com reported that Drummond had attracted interest from the Hornets, who had been monitoring him for the previous year.
Vincent Goodwill: Boston, Dallas, Toronto have also registered interest in Andre Drummond, according to sources. Drummond has relationships with Kristaps Porzingis and Kyle Lowry
No deal is imminent, but Detroit is talking to Atlanta and several other teams on Drummond, sources said. Drummond has a $28 million player option for next season that he is unlikely to exercise, forcing the Pistons to consider the possibility of losing him in free agency.
James Edwards III: Per source, nothing is imminent on Drummond trade talks. He was not at practice due to stomach ailment.
Jeff Siegel: Atlanta and Drummond would not be allowed to sign any sort of favorable extension if they were to trade for him, as any extension Drummond would sign would have to wait until six months after the trade, and by that point he could be a free agent and just sign a regular contract.
Rod Beard: A league source says nothing is imminent in a #Pistons Andre Drummond trade. It looks to be that they're just doing due diligence in checking around the league. This also means they are likely believe that he will opt out this summer.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Detroit and Atlanta have been engaged in talks on a trade centered on Andre Drummond, league sources tell ESPN. No deal imminent, but Detroit is talking to Hawks and several other teams on Drummond, sources said.
There is a scenario in which Detroit could trade its franchise center this season. Again, it’ll depend on where the Pistons are in the playoff race by the time the deadline inches closer. There also is a scenario in which the Pistons could let him walk in free agency. And, of course, depending on if the Pistons can turn it around, he could return next year on a new contract. One source said Drummond likely will sign a new contract that averages somewhere between $20 million and $25 million annually, not the max.
The Hornets are remaking the roster and they’ve gotten themselves pretty well stocked with young guards and wings in the process, plus Washington. But there’s still a glaring hole in the middle and as the Hornets are primed to finally be rid of some of the albatross contracts that have weighed the franchise since its last playoff appearance (in 2016). At long last, they are in position to fill that void. The target, according to league sources: Pistons big man Andre Drummond, a player in whom the Hornets have had an interest for at least a year.
It could be time for the Hornets to do something the franchise does not typically do: get aggressive. “He’ll be a priority there,” one league executive told Heavy.com. “It’s just a matter of whether they make him a priority now and give up something to get him or try to make the move later. It’s a very cautious group, Mitch Kupchak and those guys. But they might want to get this guy into the fold sooner rather than later, there’s just a lot of incentive there on both sides.”
Westbrook will make $38 million next season, so the initial thought was the Thunder would have to take back Andre Drummond’s $27.1 million as part of any package. “They would want picks. They have (Steven) Adams, no interest in Drummond. Doubt there is anything there.”
Vincent Ellis: #Pistons vice chair Arn Tellem on Drummond: "He’s a huge part of our team and our team’s success right now. We certainly see Andre being here now and in the future." Pistons' Andre Drummond shrugs off trade talk, on 'best run' of career freep.com/story/sports/n… via @freep
Multiple league sources have told the Free Press that the center could be had for the right price over the last few years – despite the narrative that owner Tom Gores is so fond of the Pistons’ 2012 first-round draft pick that he’s untouchable.
Drummond doesn’t get that impression. He’s aware that he’s a commodity that would be moved if Gores and the new front office, headed by Ed Stefanski and Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem, were presented with a deal that would clearly better the franchise. But Drummond wants to be with, and win with, the Pistons.
It would be a disappointing return for Memphis, but interest has been minimal. The Kings and Pistons inquired about Gasol, as reported last month on The Ringer, but there’s no traction on a deal. The Pistons offered a package involving Andre Drummond, who is is owed $55.8 million over the next two seasons, but Memphis didn’t have interest, according to league sources. Memphis wanted Bogdan Bogdanovic from the Kings for Gasol, league sources say, but he isn’t being made available for an aging, expensive center whose individual style doesn’t mesh with the team’s as a whole.
There has not been much buzz about Gasol, though he is hoping for a trade, sources familiar with the matter say. Teams are waiting to see if the Grizzlies' asking price drops a bit, sources say. Memphis has not shown any real interest yet in Andre Drummond, sources say. Detroit might be saving other trade chips for someone else. Gasol's $26 million player option for next season brings a lot of uncertainty for any interested party.
It's been an eventful year for the 23-year-old big man, who received a $130 million, five-year contract from the Pistons last offseason. Less than a season after finalizing that deal, Drummond was already the subject of trade speculation. "I never had to deal with that before," he said. "I wasn't playing the way I was supposed to play."
"I don't get tired as easy," Drummond said. "I'm sleeping better." If Drummond comes back next season with improved endurance, that could help him start living up to expectations again — and help him put last season behind him. "I wasn't playing up to my potential," he said. "I can't allow that to happen again."
Drummond, 23, admitted Thursday that going from franchise cornerstone to franchise afterthought bothered him. “I never had to deal with that before,” Drummond said via conference call to promote his appearance – along with other NBA stars – in South Africa this week.
Andre Drummond: “It was tough for my family and me to hear those rumors, but guys making that much money, not having the year they’re supposed to have, obviously that’s what’s going to happen. I’ve accepted that.”
Andre Drummond is keeping it pretty real when it comes to his future -- telling TMZ Sports when it comes to blockbuster trade rumors, "Anything is possible in this league." The rumors are heating up that the Detroit Pistons star could be shipped out before the season starts -- and even engaged with a Twitter fan this week who suggested Drummond could be part of a mega trade to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving. But when we asked about it, he didn't exactly rule it out -- "I play for Detroit now, so we'll keep it at that."
@DetroitPistons trade @Reggie_Jackson ,@iAmSJ and @AndreDrummond for Kyrie now! Andre Drummond: 😅and this is why you are typing from a cellphone and not a general manger 😫🤷🏽‍♂️
Toronto called dangling Jonas Valanciunas before the deadline, and Sacramento and Phoenix also expressed strong interest in Drummond in June, per sources. There's enough grease to ultimately move the wheels and find Drummond a new home before the season starts, and he's almost certainly not finishing out the final four years of his five-year, max contract in Detroit.
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March 4, 2021 | 5:11 am EST Update
Saratsis wanted Antetokounmpo to go to bed some nights believing he was delaying a decision until summer, then see how he felt in the morning about it. Other nights, the top five NBA player should go to bed believing he was signing the extension, then see how he felt in the morning. Peace of mind over money. Serenity over settling. “There was nothing we were going to go to the Bucks with and they were going to say no,” says Saratsis. “It’s not just a business decision, it’s an emotional decision. Yeah, things can change and we can ask for a trade if you want to, but for all intents and purposes this is the next few years of your career, in the prime of your career, and I want you to be happy.”
Storyline: Giannis Antetokounmpo Free Agency
“I can tell you that honestly,” says Saratsis. “‘Oh, well Bam signed, they must know something.’ They knew nothing. And I made sure. Agents do this all the time: You leverage one guy for another. And I never do that. It’s good to have information, but I would never talk Giannis’s business with Miami, and I would never talk about Miami’s business with any other team. You don’t leverage one guy for another.”
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