NBA Rumor: Andre Drummond Trade?

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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.

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Andre Drummond addresses trade rumors

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.”

“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.

Andre Drummond a goner in Cleveland?

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.”

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.”

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.

Knicks not interested in Andre Drummond

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.

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.

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.”

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.

Andre Drummond addresses trade rumors

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.”

No max for Andre Drummond?

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.

Hornets to pursue Andre Drummond?

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.”

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.
2 years ago via ESPN

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.

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.”
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January 23, 2021 | 8:06 pm EST Update

Timberwolves keeping Ryan Saunders for now

Ryan Saunders will remain coach of the woeful Minnesota Timberwolves, at least until he gets an opportunity to coach a stretch with star Karl-Anthony Towns in the regular lineup. “I haven’t even talked to (basketball president Gersson Rosas) about that — he hasn’t brought it up, but you’re asking me, and it’s probably hard to tell a guy that you aren’t doing the job when your best guy isn’t playing,” Wolves owner Glen Taylor said Saturday from his home in Mankato.
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For most of a year, Taylor has explored a sale of the Wolves and Lynx. How’s that coming? “Well, it’s not coming is the best way to say it,” Taylor said. “I haven’t found anything that for sure says I should move ahead.” Taylor’s price tag for the Wolves and Lynx is estimated to be in the $1.5 billion range. With NBA expansion — Las Vegas and Seattle have been mentioned — current team owners could each be in for a reported $160 million expansion fee windfall. “Obviously I’m aware of that — you’ve got to pick your time,” Taylor said, adding that no definite decision for expansion has been made. “The other question: Is now a good time to sell when you don’t have fans? And it’s not a good time.”