Dallas Mavericks pursuit of Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond should intensify with Dwight Powell’s injury

Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond and Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond and Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With Dwight Powell’s achilles injury, the Dallas Mavericks could be pushed into pursuing Detroit Pistons Andre Drummond. Here are potential trades.

Dallas Mavericks’ starting center Dwight Powell will likely miss the rest of the season after being carried off the court with what appears to be a serious Achilles injury.

This was devastating news to the Mavericks, who lose a player Mark Cuban recently called “the heart and soul of the team”  on the very same night Kristaps Porzingis returned from injury. Dallas is left without a starting center, and was already rumored to be interested in Detroit Pistons’ center Andre Drummond, so it is natural that trade talks and rumors will begin to surface once again.

There are a couple of problems with Dallas and Detroit as trade partners. Due to the Stepien Rule, Dallas can’t trade a first round pick until 2022 or until the top 5 protected 2019 pick they sent to Atlanta is conveyed. Even if they could, Dallas may not be willing to give up yet another first round pick after giving away two to acquire Porzingis, and the Pistons aren’t interested in giving away Drummond for a sub-par package that doesn’t contain a first round pick or real asset.

Another problem is that Powell’s injury means he can’t be included in any package for Drummond, which further limits the options.

One such package would be:

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This package probably wouldn’t entice the Pistons, as they’d be taking on an extra year of Tim Hardaway Jr.’s salary for a couple of low picks and the chance to reunite fan favorite Boban Marjanovic with the city of Detroit.

Detroit already has a glut of shooting guards, so adding mediocre veteran in Hardaway Jr. will not be appealing. The problem is that Dallas lacks another big contract to match up with Drummond, so Hardaway Jr. would almost certainly have to be included, and without a first round pick, it’s hard to make a package that has much appeal for Detroit.

The Pistons may have some interest in 24-year-old wing project Justin Jackson, 26-year-old Dorian Finney-Smith or power forward Maxi Kleber, all of whom are on reasonable contracts and have some upside, but it might not be enough to take on an extra year of Hardaway Jr., who has an $18.9 million player option in 2020-21.

Such a trade would be:

Would the slow-developing Jackson be enough to entice the Pistons to move Drummond? The only option that doesn’t include Hardaway Jr. would be a combination of Courtney Lee, Jackson and Kleber, which Dallas might deem too steep a price to pay for what could be a rental of Drummond.

There are a lot of factors in play that make a Dallas/Detroit trade partnership problematic, but with Dallas currently fifth in the Western Conference they may decide that now is the time to go all-in on a big three of Luka Doncic, Porzingis and Drummond, which would be formidable, even in the West. Do they have what it takes to get the trade done?

Next. Best trade each rumored team can offer for Drummond. dark

Powell’s injury gives Detroit the leverage and it will be interesting to see if they are able to use it to get a better package for Drummond.