The Sacramento Kings reportedly has “big interest” in Andre Drummond, according to Detroit sports radio mainstay Matt Dery.
There have been persistent reports that Drummond is available in possible trades since around last season’s trade deadline after a disappointing season that saw Drummond and the team regress.
Sacramento has been involved in several high-profile trade rumors, and the team has oodles of cap space, two lottery picks in tonight’s draft and a need at center after dealing All-Star Demarcus Cousins.
Dery credits the intel to “a pretty reliable source” but doesn’t indicate any affiliation with an NBA franchise, an agency or other organization.
Hearing from a pretty reliable source that Sacramento showing big interest in Andre Drummond. We'll see if anything happens with it.— Matt Dery (@DerySpeaks) June 22, 2017
There have also been rumors the Pistons would look to trade their No. 12 pick for a veteran, that the team is interested in point guard Dennis Smith Jr, who is unlikely to fall to No. 12, and with recent news that the salary cap is being lowered the team is perilously close to being a luxury tax paying team.
It’s unclear what Sacramento would be willing to offer in exchange for Drummond. Perhaps one of their two first-round picks and the ability to absorb Drummond’s massive salary would be enough.
UPDATE: There are further rumors that a possible deal would be Sacramento’s No. 10 overall pick and the mostly unguaranteed contract of former Piston Arron Afflalo for Andre Drummond.
This is second hand from inside the Palace but rumor I'm told is Drummond for #10 and Afflalo. Pistons keep 12. 5 not involved. FWIW.— Jeffrey Moss (@JeffMossDSR) June 22, 2017
Moss is another guy well connected into Detroit sports through the radio, if I remember correctly. Those radio guys know and talk to everybody. Whether it pans out or not is another story.
The deal would appeal to Detroit because it shakes up the core and provides additional financial flexibility. It appeals to Sacramento because Drummond is just 23 and locked into a long-term contract. For a team like the Kings who are trying to rebuild after dealing Cousins, and who isn’t a prime free agent destination having those extra years locked in is an asset and not liability.
It’s important to note that even clearing Drummond’s massive $23.7 million cap hold off the books doesn’t necessarily open up game-changing salary space for Detroit because of cap holds on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($9.1 million) and Reggie Bullock ($5.6 million).
With Baynes opting out of his deal and if the team renounced rights to Bullock the team could carve out approximately $11.5 million in cap space by trading Drummond and getting the No. 10pick back in return, based on my quick back of the napkin math.
Is that too little of a return on Drummond or is it just time to move on?