The Pistons Got More Out of the Andre Drummond Trade Than You Think


By Drew Abrams

In the most dramatic way possible, the Detroit Pistons traded franchise player Andre Drummond to the Cleveland Cavaliers, as first reported by ESPN. With the cavaliers owning one of the worst records in the NBA, surely Detroit would be receiving a substantial draft pick in return, right?

In the word of the legendary Dwight Schrute, false.

It was announced that in return for Drummond, Cleveland would be sending the Pistons John Henson, Brandon Knight, and a 2023 second round pick. This cause eyerolls everywhere as the Pistons have since been mocked for what seems like a baffling and stupid move. But in reality the Pistons actually get a lot more out of this trade than meets the eye.

For starters, without Drummond the Pistons will most likely keep losing. This means their chances at getting a top five draft pick will continue to increase, meaning Detroit can finally trigger a rebuild that has been long overdue. And as the Pistons don’t sign many big name free agents in recent years, their record next year will likely be bleak as well, hopeful giving them a chance to draft a big name rookies in two straight years. And to be honest, there are a lot of holes to be filled on an injury riddled Detroit roster.

Second, John Henson and Brandon Knight will likely be out of Detroit after this season as they are both on the final year of their contracts, freeing up even more cap space now that Drummond’s 28 million dollar per year salary is off the books. Point guard Reggie Jackson is likely to hit the free agent market as well.

All in all, the Pistons are about to have roughly a whopping 35 million dollars worth of cap space open to sign players, the third most in the NBA right now. So while the Pistons sure didn’t get much of a tangible reward for trading Drummond, it gives them an insane amount of cap space, and an opportunity to continue to draft young and talented rookies.