Have trade rumors been impacting Andre Drummond’s play for the Detroit Pistons?

Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

For nearly two weeks trade rumor have surrounded the Detroit Pistons and their star. Has it at all impacted his on-court performance?

On January 3rd it was reported that the Atlanta Hawks and the Detroit Pistons were engaged in talks that would end Andre Drummond‘s eight year run as a Piston. Since then, six other teams have been thrown into the mix (Boston, Toronto, Dallas, New York, Cleveland and Charlotte) and while it doesn’t necessarily appear to be a bidding war, the noise is certainly loud.

So loud in fact that in seemingly every single game the Pistons have played since the first rumors started to come out, opposing broadcast teams have mentioned the possibility of a trade multiple times throughout the course of their respective game.

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Drummond has clearly stated that he wants to finish his career in Detroit and is in no hurry to get out. On one hand, that’s exactly what you want to hear from the player who dominated the last decade for your team. But on the other hand, what else is he supposed to say there? Publicly making disgruntled comments more often than not leads to a fine and could negatively impact your trade value.

Since the initial report was filed, the Pistons have played five games and Drummond is averaging 17.2 points per game, along 16.6 rebounds on 48.5 percent shooting. Through those five games he’s also recorded two 20 point/20 rebound performances.

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While the field goal percentage is admittedly a touch lower than his season average, the numbers he’s been putting up have all been within the general range of the damage he had been dealing all year. He also recorded 4 blocks against the Los Angeles Lakers, which ties his season high. There’s not too much that would indicate Drummond is struggling to deal with the possibility of being dealt, which one could (maybe?) argue that means he’s complacent with the idea. Business is business, and Drummond knows that. It’s just a part of having to play basketball in the NBA.

It’s important to note that during Detroit’s most recent road trip, while playing against the Lakers he did have one of those games. One where it seems like he’s having trouble staying engaged on both ends of the floor which inevitably leads to some pretty frustrating possessions. When Drummond’s feeling motivated, he’s capable of putting up dominant and borderline historic numbers, but that’s just it – when he’s feeling motivated.

To be fair that hasn’t been as big of an issue for him this season as it had been in years past. He has a high motor and is doing everything in his power to get a max contract this summer. To be even more fair, his performance against the Lakers was likely more a result of frustration with the overall team performance than it was his own. Los Angeles recorded 20 – yes twenty – blocks against the Pistons which was one short of their franchise record.  This means Drummond wasn’t able to operate in the paint like he normally would due to the Lakers unmatched verticalilty.

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Waiting to be traded is a feeling that most people will never experience, and you probably can’t imagine what it feels like. But it certainly appears that if anyone can handle it, it’s Andre Drummond.