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.”
The two biggest targets would be Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. With contention nowhere in sight, do the Pistons really want to be on the hook for Drummond's next big contract? The center has a player option worth $28.8 million for next season, but with a dearth of top-tier free agents on the market this summer, he's likely to turn that down.
Whether he’s playing for another team or returning to the Pistons, Drummond is changing his perception around the league and solidifying himself as a good two-way center. The rub for the Pistons’ front office will be if that transformation leads to a run in the playoffs. That will determine whether Drummond gets another big contract or if he will end up somewhere else as a free agent. “At the end of the day, I can’t control what the front office wants to do in terms of the contract stuff. The only thing I can control right now is playing the game the right way and putting my team in a good position to win. Whatever happens after that happens,” Drummond told The News. “Obviously, I would enjoy playing for the rest of my career in Detroit. Whatever happens at the end of the year happens and we’ll figure it out when that time comes.”
Rod Beard: After his superb performance last night, I asked #Pistons Andre Drummond if #ContractYearDre was a thing. His response: You know it. Well, this is going to be something.
There may be little drama with Drummond, too. His opt-out year is worth $28 million, but he will likely sign a max contract once he makes the opt-out official. Around league front offices, the consensus is that Drummond will peek at the market but stick around in Detroit. “He just won’t have a lot of options,” one front-office executive told Heavy.com. “Detroit won’t have a lot of options, either. “
But if the Pistons don't offer the max, it could set the stage for Drummond to become a free agent next offseason. He has indicated he plans to decline a $28.75 million player option for the 2020-21 season, and if the two sides can’t reach an agreement on an extension, he becomes one of the top free agents available next summer.
The $90 million Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center includes a sports medicine, treatment and rehab facility managed by the Henry Ford Health System, as well as retail and public spaces. Gores was asked afterward about a possible contract extension for Drummond, the team’s standout center. He spoke highly of Drummond but did not elaborate on any possible negotiations.
“You know how committed I am to Andre,” Gores said. “We both know the process. I said it many times, he’s very underrated in a lot of ways, for that he does. Culturally, he’s been so good for this team, just in terms of his attitude. I met him when he was 18, just watching him grow up, I’m real proud of him. “We’re committed to each other, but we just got to run the process. Everybody is talking at a business level. We have a lot of respect for each other. It’s early.”
Dwane Casey on Andre Drummond’s (likely) upcoming free agency: “Andre understands and knows who he is, what he means to us, how important he is to our program, where he is in his career, where he stands in the league. I try to stay out of the contract part of it. I’m there for him. My thing is, I want every one of our players to be rewarded, but the only way you’re rewarded in this league is by winning. I look back to Toronto and see Kyle Lowry with $100 million or whatever it was. That’s the same conversation I had with (Lowry). I hope that (Drummond) gets every penny that is coming to him, but the only way we accomplish that together is through winning. … That’s the basics of contract talks. I don’t get into that other stuff.”
Because Drummond seemed to confirm he was likely to opt out of his deal and that he was excited when asked if he was looking forward to being a free agent. Drummond attempted to quiet both his critics and his worried fans by going to Instagram: “For those who are confused about my comment about free agency let me break this down … My point was I’m excited to go thru the process because I never been thru it, doesn’t mean I’m trying to leave detroit . I love it here”
Drummond: I'm a free agent next summer. Reporter: Looking forward to that? Drummond: Yeah, it should be fun, I'm excited. I think I'm the only one that has a big contract coming up that year.
Marc Stein: Andre Drummond's deal officially lands at $127.2 mil with a $28.8M player option in Year 5 and an 8-percent trade kicker, league sources say
The Detroit Pistons announced today that the club has re-signed center Andre Drummond to a multi-year contract. Per team policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
“Re-signing Andre was a top priority for us this offseason,” said President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Stan Van Gundy. “The offensive and defensive numbers speak for themselves, but more importantly, his commitment to the organization has allowed us to put together a young group of players that will grow together and continue to move the franchise forward.”
Marc Stein: Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons are nearing agreement on a five-year max deal in the $130 million range, league sources tell ESPN
Detroit Pistons big man Andre Drummond is in line to sign a max contract extension this summer. Pistons owner Tom Gores made it clear after Sunday night's season-ending Game 4 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers that has no qualms about giving Drummond big money. "No hesitation," Gores said in the Pistons locker room after the game. "Come on, look at all the big guys in the league. Come on."
When asked if Drummond wants to stay long term, Gores sounded cautiously optimistic. "You'd have to ask Andre, but I think we have a great relationship," Gores said. "I think he likes Detroit, but you'd have to ask him."
Q: I've heard people in Detroit are calling you the "franchise player w/o the franchise contract." Is there any part of you that feels that that's accurate or is it way too soon for that to even be part of the conversation? Andre Drummond: Um, you know man, when that time come. You know, we made a decision all together that it wasn't the best time to sign right now. ... I'm just here to play basketball and when that time comes we'll negotiate.
Van Gundy said the move not to re-sign Drummond was in order to keep salary-cap space available to sign other free agents before they re-sign Drummond. "Andre really, really wants to win," Van Gundy told Yahoo Sports. "We laid out the difference of where we'd be salary-cap wise. It's almost $13 million. He wants us and [Pistons owner] Tom [Gores] to have all the resources to build this thing. He wants to be part of a winner."
Drummond said he intends to re-sign with the Pistons. "I love it here. I plan on being here," Drummond told Yahoo.
Jackson, you could say, has an investment in Drummond too, after signing a five-year, $80 million contract with the Pistons over the summer. "He's a big reason, reason 1A-1B, I went solely into staying here," Jackson said. "He was always on me about making sure I signed. So I'm just trying to make sure everything's going in the right direction to still be here and try and make a lot of memories." Drummond will become a restricted free agent once his current contract expires after the 2015-16 season. Both sides have said they want the other, with head coach Stan Van Gundy reiterating that to reporters again on Tuesday, and the Pistons hold a leg up having the option of matching any future offers.
Jackson said the two spoke privately about the decision, made by Drummond in lockstep with his agent, Jeff Schwartz, and Pistons owner Tom Gores, and called it a big one for his future. "It's a mature move either way," Jackson said. "Whatever he decides is what he decides. I just would love to know that I have this guy with me during my tenure being here, wearing this red and blue. I just want what's best for Andre. I want what's best for his career. I definitely want him to be here and I want to make a lot of memories and a lot of highlights in the Palace and bring back this city."
September 21, 2021 | 6:41 pm EDT Update
September 21, 2021 | 5:44 pm EDT Update
Cody Taylor: The Magic announced that they have signed Admiral Schofield ahead of the start of training camp, which begins on Sept. 28.
Oleh Kosel: On latest Lowe Post podcast, Bobby Marks says he heard Josh Hart’s contract took so long to get signed because Pelicans were in holding pattern due to potential penalties from Lonzo Ball trade. “Did we need to use him maybe in a sign-&-trade to recoup maybe a 1st round pick?”
Sean Cunningham: Davion Mitchell says he feels like a rookie because he’s still learning all the new faces surrounding his Kings team, even though De’Aaron Fox said the Baylor product doesn’t seem like a rookie because he’s older. “Fox kind of took me under his wing.” pic.twitter.com/4YLryWCj2S
A month ago, Nets general manager Sean Marks expressed his confidence in signing James Harden and Kyrie Irving to contract extensions by the start of training camp, which is a week away. On Tuesday, he admitted he might need a little more time than he first thought. “We’ve had very positive conversations with both those guys, and whether it’s family members, people and so forth, I think it always helps to do these things in person,” Marks said. “With this being summer, we’re very cognizant of letting people have their own time away before we all get back into the swing of things here. We’re looking forward to sitting down with them over the course of the next week, two weeks, and furthering those discussions.”
While both are still currently entering the final year of their contracts, Marks doesn’t expect the lack of extensions to be a distraction. “This is something those guys know exactly how we feel, and I think they’ve been vocal about wanting to be part of this and build this together,” Marks said. “I think we’ve got an opportunity to hopefully build something special here for the foreseeable future. The fact that they want to collaborate, they want to come here together, they want to build this together.”