Why the Hawks Should Not Trade for Andre Drummond
Trade talks between the Hawks and Pistons around All-Star center Andre Drummond have cooled off -- for now.
Drummond is currently averaging a career-high in both points and rebounds per game at 17.8 and 16.2, respectively. However, he is also posting a career-high in turnovers, by a significant amount. Likewise, Drummond is posting one of the lower effective field goal percentages of his career.
The Hawks may have holes at the center position, but that doesn’t mean the team should try to trade for Andre Drummond.
Drummond has a player option for next year, but it is expected he opts out, and becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer. A trade could represent just a rental, or otherwise the team would be stuck paying Drummond a hefty salary in free agency.
Sure, Drummond would be the best center on Atlanta’s current roster, but the fit is still precarious. The Hawks are absolutely terrible on defense, and Drummond does not help sure that up. Despite his size, players are still very effective against him around the rim. He also tends to fall asleep off-bal, and he does not have the ability to guard on the perimeter. He is, at best, an average defensive center.
On the offensive side of the ball, the fit is a little better. Drummond is not the best finisher at the rim, but playing with Trae Young would certainly help him; the two would make a solid pick and roll pair.
The most important reason why the Hawks should not trade for Drummond, though, is positional scarcity. Andre Drummond makes around $28 million right now, and will likely get paid close to that on the open market. There are so many productive centers that can be had for significantly cheaper contracts.
The Hawks project to have around $70 million in cap space this summer, but that does not mean giving up assets to trade for someone they will have to significantly overpay for slightly above average production. There are simply many more efficient options.
For example, call up Sacramento and construct a trade for the disgruntled Dewayne Dedmon. Dedmon was crucial in the famous Hawks double-drag screen, his spacing allowed John Collins to flourish as a dive man. Another option would be to sign someone like Montrezl Harrell, Jakob Poeltl, or Derrick Favors this offseason.
All of these other options come significantly cheaper. You also do not have to give up any assets for in a trade, and they are just as good, if not better players. The decision is pretty obvious, the Hawks do not need to trade for Andre Drummond.