When many Hawks fans heard that the Hawks had explored a trade with the Pistons for Andre Drummond, they are awfully confused. Why give up assets for a player who is likely set to hit free agency this offseason when the team is not competing? Well at the time we knew little of what the package being discussed was, but now we do. And the Hawks were not exactly offering “assets” per se.
The Pistons are looking to acquire a first-round pick for Drummond’s services for the remainder of the season, and he could already be a Hawk if Travis Schlenkw as willing to give one up. But seemingly no team wants to give up their first rounder for Drummond. In fact, according to James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, the Hawks were only offering expiring contracts for Drummond.
This would go a long way in explaining why a deal never came to fruition. It seems Schlenk is unwilling to give up the protected Nets’ first-round pick, and perhaps even his second-rounders for a rental. When you start looking at the expiring contracts on the roster, those include Allen Crabbe, Chandler Parsons, Evan Turner, and Alex Len. If the Hawks are not giving up any draft capital, it does not seem likely that Drummond will be wearing volt green anytime soon.
However, this is likely the right move. If the Pistons are willing to just give him away, sure why not? But they are not going to do that. From the Hawks’ perspective, they will have just as good a shot to acquire Drummond as anyone this offseason if they prioritize him, given the cap situation. It will also allow them to play things out in the Draft. For example, if they come away with James Wiseman, Drummond would simply be eating into a top pick’s minutes.
The news was confusing at first, but it makes a lot more sense now that we have the context. Andre Drummond would fill a huge hole for this team, but it is best to cross that bridge in July rather than now.