Andre Drummond responded on Instagram to fans and the media in an Instagram Story days after he caused a mild uproar by saying he was “excited” to hit the free agent market.
Drummond can opt out of the final year his contract next offseason where he promises to be one of the biggest names on the free agent market as a 27-year-old center who is an all-world rebounder and, should he replicate the success of the second half of last season, one of the NBA’s best big men.
Because Drummond seemed to confirm he was likely to opt out of his deal and that he was excited when asked if he was looking forward to being a free agent.
Drummond attempted to quiet both his critics and his worried fans by going to Instagram:
“For those who are confused about my comment about free agency let me break this down ...
My point was I’m excited to go thru the process because I never been thru it, doesn’t mean I’m trying to leave detroit . I love it here”
Honestly, this story is just a whole lot of nothing, as far as I’m concerned. The third NBA contract is typically the first time NBA players have autonomy to make their own decision and chart their own path. Of course they will be excited.
You’re locked up on a below-market deal (if you’re any good) for the first four or five years of your career and then due to restricted free agency don’t control your own destiny on any multi-year deal. For many players, they are with the team that drafted them for nine years before they feel the “freedom” to make their own choice.
Besides, this all might simply stem from a pretty standard misunderstanding. The comment made to Drummond in the inciting incident was “you’ve got a lot of years left” before being followed up with “you’re still a young guy.” If Drummond heard only the first part of that he could have been mentioning free agency because he thought “a lot of years left” was referring to his contract status.
Drummond then responded with, “I’m a free agent next summer.” Then asked if he was looking forward to it he said, “Yeah, it should be fun. I’m excited. I think I’m the only one that has a big contract coming up for the year.”
And even if he heard everything correctly and responded how he did, is it really that big of a deal? One of the NBA’s premier free agents is excited about maximizing his leverage during free agency? I can’t say it shocks me.
Besides, there is no saying where Detroit stands on an additional long-term relationship with Drummond. He’s young, but he’s not getting any younger and he’s a big that relies on athleticism. Detroit might also be interested in reallocating resources toward an offensive-minded wing (if you know any that are available, let me know) or wanting to go full rebuild and move on from Reggie Jackson, Drummond and Blake Griffin all at once.
I don’t know, but just like Drummond, I’m excited to find out.