UPDATE: The Pistons are reportedly not getting any first-round picks in offers for Drummond, The Athletic’s James Edwards III reported earlier this week.
Andre Drummond is one of the hottest names on the trade block. He has the option to opt-out of his contract after the season, which is all but a guarantee since Drummond is in line to sign a massive contract in free agency. These are what I think are some of the top destinations for Drummond prior to the 2020 NBA Trade Deadline.
This seems to be the most likely destination for Drummond. Atlanta has the available cap space to pay Drummond the money he will be looking for after a trade, so they would be able to keep him long term. Here is the downside. The move would lock the Hawks into a core of Trae Young, John Collins and Drummond for the long term. This would likely be a playoff team in the Eastern Conference, but it seems unlikely they would have a championship ceiling.
On the positive side, the team would be entertaining and Atlanta hasn’t made the playoffs since 2017. While not a great individual defender Drummond is a capable shot blocker and would help the Hawks’ defense cover for some of Young’s defensive shortcomings at point guard.
Personally, I don’t think the fit for Drummond is great in Dallas. I included the Mavericks because this appears to be one of the more likely landing spots for Drummond. On offense, Luka Doncic throwing lobs to an All-Star center would certainly be fun to watch and there’s a ton of shot blocking potential with a pairing of Drummond and Porzingis. My worry is what this will do to floor spacing on offense. Doncic is at his best operating in space and I think he should always be surrounded by shooters.
Adding Drummond could clog the lane, making it more difficult for Luka to get to the basket. This wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I think the Mavs are better served using their cap space on adding perimeter shooting and defense around Doncic and Porzingis.
The Hornets are having a much better season than anybody could have expected. In fairness, the bar was extremely low after Kemba Walker left in the offseason. Even so, getting a fairly competitive team led by Most Improved Player candidate Devonte’ Graham is a successful season in Charlotte. Here’s the reality of the Hornets situation. This isn’t a free agent destination. Players haven’t been chomping at the bit to sign with the Hornets and Michael Jordan.
For Andre Drummond, he’s an All-Star, but not a player that a championship team is going to be built around. For this reason, the market to sign him to a max contract might not exist. Enter the Hornets, a small market team that could add an All-Star center, overpay him and sell their fans on fielding a more competitive team. I am not sure how likely it is to see Drummond in Charlotte, but it’s my personal favorite landing spot for him.