The Detroit Pistons are escalating discussions with several teams about a trade involving All-Star center Andre Drummond, including serious recent talks with the Atlanta Hawks, league sources told ESPN.
The Hawks have discussed sending a package that includes a 2020 first-round pick via the Brooklyn Nets and the salary-cap relief of expiring contracts for Detroit, league sources said. A potential deal would include other assets.
There’s an increasing belief inside and outside the Pistons organization that a Drummond deal is growing in likelihood prior to the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline, league sources said.
The Pistons-Hawks discussions have included ownership levels with both teams, but no ideal is considered imminent, league sources said.
Detroit is preparing for Drummond, 26, to decline his $29 million option on the 2020-21 season and become a free agent, league sources said. Pistons owner Tom Gores has long been a strong advocate of Drummond’s, but there’s an increased movement in the organization to use Drummond as a trade asset to begin creating some salary-cap flexibility for the future, league sources said.
Drummond could possibly command another max contract on the free-agent market — or with the team that trades for him.
The Pistons are committed through the 2022 season on the $76 million owed Blake Griffin in the final two years of his contract, and his injury history makes trading him a difficult scenario.
Drummond is averaging 17.6 points and a league-best 15.8 rebounds per game for the Pistons, who drafted him in 2012.