It's no secret that Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond has been lagging behind team and fan expectations.
Last season, he saw his numbers drop in scoring (16.2 to 13.6), rebounding (a league-leading 14.8 to 13.8) and blocked shots (1.4 to 1.1, a career low). He also played about three fewer minutes per game.
And of course, don't get us started on his free-throw shooting. Two seasons ago, his free-throw percentage was bad enough to qualify as the worst in NBA history at just 35.5 percent.
Earlier this year, we reported that both Drummond and Reggie Jackson were the subjects of trade rumors. But a recent article by Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post confirmed what Pistons fans already knew – the Pistons fielded calls from other teams interested in trading for Drummond last season:
“While Detroit was figuring out what to do with Caldwell-Pope, the team also took calls on center Andre Drummond, who — like virtually everyone else with the Pistons — disappointed last season. But owner Tom Gores is a huge fan of Drummond, a starter in the 2016 All-Star Game. With many teams sensing dissatisfaction with the big man from Coach and team President Stan Van Gundy, none of the offers merited a serious discussion about Drummond’s future with the franchise.”
Drummond's regression, combined with his known attitude issues, has been the focus of scrutiny and resentment from Pistons fans. Like the Red Wings, the Pistons are moving into Little Caesars Arena without a clear sense of direction for their franchise, and Drummond has played a huge role in that regrettable reality.
Though it remains to be seen what kind of package the Pistons could fetch in return for who they hoped would turn into a franchise cornerstone, it appears as though the team is holding off on trade discussions – for now. The fact that the team entertained offers should serve as motivation for Drummond to get his act together on the floor.
The Pistons may have a shiny new building, but that aura will quickly fade if Drummond continues to underachieve.