The Detroit Pistons traded their longtime star Andre Drummond and the return was downright awful. A pair of expiring contracts in John Henson and former Piston Brandon Knight and a 2023 second-round pick that looks likely to fall in the late 40s or 50s.
Typically, when you grade a trade you look at what you got back in the deal. By any measure, the tangible assets the Pistons received were awful. F. Gross. Do not want.
The context around this trade makes it interesting, though. Yesterday, I wrote a thorough examination of the true value of trading Andre Drummond for “nothing.”
I won’t rehash all the arguments there, but I will acknowledge nothing is exactly what they got.
The nickel summary of that positive value is simply that it provides Detroit the clarity and peace of mind of knowing exactly how much money they will have in the offseason as they begin a long-term rebuild.
Drummond had a $28 million player option he told everyone within shouting distance he was going to turn down so that he could secure a long-term deal as one of the best free agents on the market.
The Pistons must have started to think he could pick up that option and leave the team with yet another year of little flexibility and leverage in an offseason where they would want to re-sign Christian Wood and take on young players and maybe a bad contract in exchange for some future draft picks.
Not everyone agrees with that assessment, to put it mildly. Letting Dre play out this season is better than giving him away — even with the threat of him opting in, the thinking goes.
If he opts in, he becomes a tradeable expiring deal and a very good player that is fun to watch. That counts for something, or so they say.
I haven’t been swayed, but it doesn’t mean I’m right. So I want to hear what you think. I don’t necessarily want to ask the simple was this a good trade or a bad trade question. I want to ask — should the Pistons have made this trade?
If the answer is no then Drummond plays out the year, the Pistons pick where they pick in the draft and maybe he opts in and maybe he opts out. Maybe he’s tradeable next season maybe he isn’t. But that’s the narrative path we’d be going down.
If the answer is yes then Drummond was a guy who needed a change of scenery and the threat of him opting in because the market won’t be what he was hoping for is too great a risk for Detroit to take. Maybe the Pistons lose a few more games and get lucky in the lottery or don’t. Maybe a nice shiny trade presents itself in the offseason and they can absorb a contract into their mountain of cap space. Or maybe nothing materializes and they’re just a bad team full of young players that is a chore to watch.
Should the Detroit Pistons have made THIS trade for Andre Drummond?
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