Any deal of Andre Drummond to the Atlanta Hawks is dead, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Weeks after ESPN broke news of mutual interest between the two teams on a deal centered around the big man, it seems like no deal could be reached and the sides are walking away.
Both sides were optimistic weeks ago that a deal would eventually be ironed out to pair rising star Trae Young with another top-tier talent.
But Atlanta is seeking to remain patient, knowing there will be options to improve via the draft and during free agency, sources said.
In the deal for Drummond that has been nixed, Detroit would have received Damian Jones, Chandler Parsons or Allen Crabbe (who was dealt to Minnesota on Thursday) and a first-round pick, sources said.
Drummond is expected to decline his $28.8 million player option for the 2020-21 season in order to test free agency this summer, sources said.
There is no official word on which side nixed the deal but it seems relatively safe to assume that Atlanta is the side who walked away. Giving up a first-round pick for a six-month rental for a non-contending team that has no salary cap limitations if it wants to sign the same player as a free agent in the offseason is a big ask.
For Detroit’s part, there are arguments on both sides that trading a tentative expiring contract for a definitive expiring contracts would have been worth it just to accelerate the rebuild (and losing) and provide clarity in the offseason building process.
At the same time, Detroit might feel bullish they can extract real value for their big man before the trade deadline with another club if not Atlanta, and there is no pressure to accept a sub-optimal deal.
Also, if Drummond is still committed to opting out in the offseason then even under a worst-case scenario Dre walks away for nothing in the offseason and it is no different than trading for something like Chandler Parson’s expiring contract.
The Pistons certainly seem to be pretty adept at losing even with him on the roster.
Haynes reports that Drummond is still expected to be one of the Hawk’s targets in the offseason assuming they do not address their hole at center in a different trade or the draft.
The Pistons, Haynes writes, are still fielding offers for their big man, who is expected to opt out of the final year of his deal that would pay him roughly $28 million next season. Instead, he thinks he’ll command a big multi-year deal as a premier free agent, perhaps even garnering a max contract.
I am ... skeptical.
In fact, if Detroit does not trade Drummond, the team keeps losing, and the offense remains fundamentally broken due to injuries and lack of playmaking, Drummond’s value will decrease enough where I would not be shocked to see him pick up his option and try the free agency game a year from now.