Andre Drummond will get a massive extension from the Detroit Pistons that will pay him in excess of $100 million. It's just a matter of when the big man signs on the line that is dotted.
Marc Stein of ESPN reports that Drummond and Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors are the two players in the best position to sign extensions before the Nov. 2 deadline, attributing the info to league sources.
Not to get too enmeshed in cap arcana, but if Drummond is convinced to wait to sign the extension next offseason, the team could secure significant cap space and use it to lure a quality free agent or two.
Stein also mentions that Bradley Beal is up for a similar extension, but the Washington Wizards are hoping that he waits to sign the deal so the team can pursue Kevin Durant in free agency. The Pistons are hoping to enact the same strategy, but without such an obvious target as Durant to lure, perhaps the thinking is that it is less critical for Drummond to wait.
For what it's worth, I still believe that the team convinces Drummond to hold off on the extension until next offseason. Why is that so important? I guess it's time to get our hands (and minds) dirty with some cap logic.
Drummond's salary for this season is $3.2 million. If he signs the extension tomorrow or next offseason, his salary remains $3.2 million. However, if he signs an extension before Nov. 2 his new salary counts against the salary cap ($22 million, give or take). If he waits to sign his extension, only $6.4 million counts against the cap. This would free up roughly $16 million for Detroit to use in free agency.
This would greatly help the team and Drummond wouldn't really be out a single penny in salary. However, Drummond would be taking a not insignificant risk that the offer will still be on the table next offseason. What if he suffers a serious injury? What if he significantly regresses? Would Detroit still be putting $120 million on the table?
We'll find out in three weeks what the ultimate outcome will be.