Andre Drummond wants a maximum contract and has expressed a desire to stay with the Detroit Pistons. Here’s the latest information.
Professional athletes are put on a pedestal because of the media deals and how sports are a form of entertainment. They’re not just basketball players, they are celebrities, which is why Detroit Pistons pending free agent Andre Drummond strips negotiations down to its simplest form.
The 26-year-old center has led the league in rebounding in three of the last seasons years and is the only player in NBA history with four seasons of 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 100 steals and 100 blocks.
“That’s the way anybody would see themselves,” Drummond said to the Detroit Free Press’ Vince Ellis on Tuesday, one day after Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores said the franchise is “dedicated” to the 2012 first-round pick.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a basketball player. With the work you put in, you should be rewarded for it — no matter who you are. If it’s me or even a rookie. Everybody feels like they should make a maximum amount of dollars.”
This summer, Drummond hinted at declining his $28.8 million player option for the 2020-21 season, which expires on Oct. 21. Though it’s not because he wants to leave Detroit, rather he wants to stay with the Pistons and has requested talks begin a contract extension. Ellis reported that they’re at ‘a business level’ in extension talks.
It’s an enticing option for Drummond to hit the free agent market since he’ll be the top player to hit the market. Anthony Davis may technically be a free agent but his desire to re-sign with the Los Angeles Lakers have been expressed publicly. Draymond Green and Nikola Vucevic signed a four-year, $100 million extensions in the offseason to remain with their respective teams.
Pistons Senior Advisor Ed Stefanski is in a precarious spot because if he offers anything short of a maximum contract, Drummond could walk for nothing in free agency. But if he offers him the max extension, it would begin around $34 and could be up to $190 million over five years.
If, or when, Drummond declines his player option, the Pistons would have to offer him more than $28.75 million but no more than $34.5 million in the first year of the extension.
More from PistonPowered
- Detroit Pistons: 3 things we’d like to see vs. the Atlanta Hawks
- Detroit Pistons: Sorry, but how is Blake Griffin “earning” minutes?
- The Detroit Pistons are following the Miami Heat model for team building
- Detroit Pistons: Observations on Heat rematch
- Detroit Pistons: Should the Pistons take a risk on Kevin Porter Jr.?
Detroit is in a good spot for future free agents with the opening of the Henry Ford Detroit Pistons Performance Center. Drummond said himself it’s better than USA Basketball’s facility. Joe Johnson saw new facilities in Utah and Brooklyn and he favors Detroit’s.
“This is hands down the best one,” he said. “I’m not just saying that because I’m here. I’ve seen both of them. I don’t think it can compare. This is dope.”
It will be a selling point to premier free agents in 2021, since the Pistons can afford at least one maximum contract with only Blake Griffin and Sekou Doumbouya having contracts beyond 2021. Though it’s unlikely that holds.
Pistons owner Tom Gores knows the importance of Drummond in Detroit’s lineup. He seems motivated to get a deal done, too.
“We know how dedicated we are to each other,” Gores told the Free Press. “I’ve said it many times: He’s very underrated in a lot of ways for what he does, and culturally he’s been so good for this team, just in terms of his attitude, and just watching him really grow up. I met him when he was 18.
“We’ve got to run the process. Everybody’s talking at a business level and we have a lot of respect for each other, but it’s early.”
At the end of the day, it is a business. Should the two not reach an agreement and the Pistons start falling off before the All-Star break, it’s possible he could be dealt to address a need instead of dealing with those needs in free agency.
Some want Drummond to stay and be the face of the Pistons franchise. Others don’t. Time will tell but, at the end of the day, a business decision has to be made on both sides of the table.