Report: Hawks balked at Drummond trade due to wanting $20+ million annually in free agency

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Hawks fans have been receiving more and more context surrounding the discussions that the team had in trade negotiations for Andre Drummond.

Recently, we found out Travis Schlenk only offered expiring contracts for Drummond’s services. If they were to have attached a pick in an offer, he could be a Hawk right now. But perhaps the reason the trade has not come to fruition isn’t about return value after all.

According to Kevin O’Conner of The Ringer NBA Podcast, sources have told him that the Hawks balked at the idea of Drummond wanting over $20 million annually when he hits free agency this offseason.

Here is the link, listen around the 43:35 mark: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/shai-gilgeous-alexander-is-budding-superstar-plus-why/id1109271715?i=1000462512335

This rumor is quite indicative of what the future holds, not only for the Hawks in free agency but Drummond as well. The max deal that Drummond could receive this summer from any team besides the Pistons, based on his NBA experience, is 4-years, $140 million, which equates out to around $35 million a year. While Drummond may be viewed as the best potential unrestricted free agent in 2020, assuming Anthony Davis re-ups with the Lakers, the fact that Schlenk would not even want him for a little over half of a max deal is indicative of how the Hawks value him, and how other league execs might as well.

No NBA front office is the same, and some team may give Drummond that type of money. However, there are only a handful of organizations with cap space this summer, and if this is indicative of how other leagues execs feel about his value, he may end up finding that exercising his $28.75 million option is in his best interest.

Drummond is a good player that would undoubtedly help the Hawks and any NBA team for that matter, but it seems that more and more NBA teams are penny-pinching at center and investing money to construct their rosters elsewhere. Drummond, being a bit of a throwback player, may have difficulty this offseason finding the deal he wants, but it does not hurt that there is a serious lack of talent in this free agency class. It just doesn’t look like the Hawks will be the team willing to play ball with him this offseason.

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