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Pistons owner calls Andre Drummond a 'max' player

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An extension all but inevitable as Pistons owner openly calls young big man a "maximum" player.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

All the drama that accompanied Greg Monroe in restricted free agency, and will follow him into his unrestricted free agency, is not likely to be repeated with the Pistons' other young big man, Andre Drummond.

Pistons owner Tom Gores essentially ended all possible drama and speculation with a simple statement to the media following the Detroit's season-ending 112-90 win over the New York Knicks.

"Andre's a maximum guy."

Well, there you go.

Assuming Gores wasn't using private equity slang for calling someone super cool, he signaled his intention to back up a large truck of money to secure the services of his young center for the next several years. Drummond will be eligible for an extension this offseason.

Compare this transparency with the silence that accompanied Monroe's eligibility for an extension two years ago and the accompanying comments Stan Van Gundy made when Monroe was a restricted free agent last summer:

"We've been through basically every million-dollar increment of an offer sheet he can get, and what will we do if he takes the option of signing an offer sheet, and this is what he comes back with, what will we do?" Van Gundy said. "So to me, there's not going to be any drama in it for us. We've already made that decision. We've already talked that through with ownership."

Yes, it appears Drummond will be offered that maximum extension that eluded Monroe. Now, Monroe is an unrestricted free agent and conventional wisdom believes he has played his last game in Pistons uniform. In the same interview where Gores called Drummond a max player, he also said he would be involved in trying to retain Monroe, but the Pistons lost control of that process. It is a scenario they don't appear willing to repeat with Drummond.

If Drummond signs the four- or five-year extension for which he is eligible, he will make $2.5 million next season and then 25 percent of the salary cap in 2016-17 with 7.5 percent raises. With the salary cap expected to approach $90 million under the new TV contract, Drummond would have a salary starting at around $20 million and a four-year deal worth roughly $89 million or a five-year deal worth $115 million.

Not bad for a 21-year-old who fell to ninth in the draft.