Andre Drummond “will very likely be wearing a new jersey by the end” of next season, according to Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated.
Fischer also reports that the Pistons have been taking and making calls on Drummond for months and that Toronto (offering Jonas Valanciunas), Sacramento and Phoenix have expressed interest in Drummond, with the latter two expressing interest as recently as June.
A word of caution, however, about the legitimacy of the report. Fischer not only reports the above but gets into the speculation game, and let’s just say that I’m not quite sure that I buy his evaluative skills.
First, there is the connection between the Pistons and the possible Melo trade to Houston.
The Pistons had eyes on Ryan Anderson before he hit free agency last summer. Perhaps Detroit finagles its way into the Melo-to-Houston talks, moving Drummond to New York and taking back Ryan Anderson—a Stan Van Gundy favorite from Orlando—in return.
Keep in mind, this is the same Ryan Anderson who is owed $20 million for the next three season. This is also the same Ryan Anderson who has a contract that reportedly would require the Houston Rockets to part with two first-round draft picks in order to ditch, according to several media reports.
Drummond’s value might be low right now, but I can’t imagine that the best the Pistons could do would be to trade him for Anderson.
Still, while there are reasons to question Fischer’s armchair GMing, I’d say his reporting on this piece tells me that where there is this much smoke there must be a little bit of fire.
With language like “The Pistons would like to part ways with both (Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson) of those aforementioned big pieces.” And, “There’s enough grease to ultimately move the wheels and find Drummond a new home before the season starts, and he’s almost certainly not finishing out the final four years of his five-year, max contract in Detroit,” I’d say there is no equivocation in his reporting.