The Detroit Pistons have a big decision to make this summer. Star center Andre Drummond will likely decline his $28.75 million player option for 2020-21 and become one of the league's most coveted free agents.
$28.75 million is a massive amount of money for 365 days of work (less really), but Drummond is in line to make a lot more. The max Drummond could make if he were to leave the Pistons is $140 million over four years ($35 million/year). Due to the Pistons owning Drummond's bird rights, they can offer more years and more money than any other team and could max him out at $190 million over five years ($38 million/year).
On the surface, Drummond has earned a monster payday. He's been one of the most durable centers in the league over his entire career, only missing 10 games over the last six seasons.
The big man has proved to be one most elite rebounders in NBA history and his numbers last season suggest that he is just now hitting his prime. Last season Drummond averaged 17.3 points, 15.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks.
It’s a top priority to Tom Gores to make sure Andre Drummond remains a Piston after this season. pic.twitter.com/Gm5KwATLsa
— Jeff Riger (@riger1984) October 7, 2019
According to Pistons owner Tom Gores, those numbers are good enough to warrant assurance that Drummond will stay a Piston for a long time. In the comments to 97.1 the Ticket's Jeff Riger above, Gores says that keeping Drummond in Detroit is a top priority.
While it's a slam dunk for the owner, it might not be so for fans. Drummond is for sure a superb talent and is only 26 years old, with no sign of an upcoming decline in skill. However, there are legitimate questions to be had about how much success a team can have in today's NBA if a traditional center like Drummond is a main focal point on offense. If the Pistons pay Drummond, they will be essentially hitching their wagon to him for the next five years.
A lot can happen between now and the summer of 2020, but unless the franchise has a dramatic paradigm shift, I would expect Dre to be a new, paid man by the time the Pistons tip-off in 2020.