It finally happened, the Detroit Pistons have officially traded their star center Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
After weeks of speculation and trade rumors, the Andre Drummond era with the Detroit Pistons is officially over. Both Adrian Wojnarowski and Kevin O’ Connor broke the news that Drummond is headed to Cleveland in exchange for the expiring contacts of John Henson and Brandon Knight, as well as a 2023 second round pick.
This is not the haul many fans were expecting for Drummond, who leaves the Pistons as the franchise’s second all-time leading rebounder. But with traditional centers being valued less in the NBA, the market for Drummond never really materialized. It’s also possible that Drummond revealed that he had no intention or desire to re-sign with Detroit, which means the Pistons risked losing him for nothing.
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There were almost certainly better deals on the table, but may have required the Pistons to take back additional years instead of expiring deals.
Detroit’s front office obviously decided that expiring contracts were more important than marginally better picks, so even though they didn’t get much in return, they also didn’t take on any bad deals or extra years, which means they can start the rebuild in earnest.
The Pistons are essentially getting a second round pick for Drummond and now have plentiful money to use on free agents in this offseason or next.
Though this year’s free agent class isn’t deep, Stefanski may have decided that a combination of free agents could give the Pistons more than Drummond and would fit better with youngsters Sekou Doumbouya, Bruce Brown, Luke Kennard and Christian Wood.
It’s also possible that Detroit will sit on their money until the vaunted free agent class of 2021.
In a nutshell, the trade ensures that the Pistons have more of a clean slate moving forward and allows the front office to finally put their stamp on the roster. Detroit didn’t get much, but they didn’t lose anything and can finally start fresh.
It’s easy to overreact to trades in the present, as we have no idea what player the Pistons will choose with the draft pick, nor how they will use the extra money in free agency. Fans who were hungry for a rebuild can’t then be mad when the Pistons kickstart it with this trade.
The Drummond era in Detroit will always be remembered as one of unfilled potential and what-ifs. His departure signals that Detroit is finally ready to start a rebuild and are doing it the right way by wiping the slate clean.